IT IS safe to say that ‘Mr Nasty’ is not a moniker that would usually be directed towards Barnsley midfielder George Moncur.
An expressive flair player on the pitch and a committed Christian off it, the Reds schemer is also a popular figure in the dressing room with a joke or a wise crack never usually too far away.
People say that Geroge is too nice and sometimes I need to show that other side a bit more now, even on the pitch. You are seen as up for a laugh and a joke, but you have got to perform and I need to switch on more in terms of being a bit nastier.George Moncur
Yet Moncur – the first to admit that he is still to complete his education in the Championship’s finishing school – plainly acknowledges that now is the time to get a bit more serious, even nasty, to give him a hardened edge in an unforgiving division.
On the pitch, that means developing the defensive, nitty-gritty side of his game, with it perhaps no coincidence that he found himself left out of the squad for the recent trip to Millwall, one of the more mentally challenging arenas in the Championship.
It was perhaps a coded message from head coach Paul Heckingbottom too in his desire for Moncur to toughen up a bit more and bit quicker, albeit after making strides since rebuilding his Reds career at the start of the year. For his part, Moncur does not need to be told over and over again where he needs to improve if he is to truly grow at Barnsley.
Moncur said: “People say that ‘George is too nice’ and sometimes I need to show that other side a bit more, even on the pitch. You are seen as up for a laugh and a joke, but you have got to perform and I need to switch on more in terms of being a bit nastier.
“If they (team-mates) get used to it, they will know I am not always a joker. It is definitely something I am going to look to do more.
“There is more to come from me. I have showed it in games and I have not shown it in others.”
On improving his defensive qualities without the ball, Moncur acknowledged: “If you can get better at any aspect of your game, you are doing to be a better player.
“When I do that, then hopefully the performances will get better and better in the weeks to come.”
Son of former West Ham and Swindon midfielder John, Moncur can count on plenty of feedback from his ‘old man’, although any praise is usually of the understated variety, which is perhaps no bad thing.
Moncur said: “He is always telling me what to do. He knows I can be a really good player and tells me to get on the ball and show how good I am.
“But he never says that I have had a good game because that is just the way he is. He always wants me to do more.
“He knows I can be a really good player and tells me to get on the ball and show how good I am.”