Adam Phillips on his personal mission with Barnsley FC and inspiration from Steven Gerrard

ADAM PHILLIPS is determined to make up for lost time in his quest to reach double figures in his maiden season at Barnsley.

The 24-year-old hit a purple patch in November and early December, scoring five times in six matches in all competitions, only for a bout of illness and then a minor injury to prove untimely in the extreme.

He is now over his ailments and fully fit again and while it is primarily about team and not self with Barnsley heading into Saturday's match with one of Phillips's former clubs on the back of a three-match losing sequence in all competitions, the midfielder does have his own individual targets.

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His best goalscoring haul in a season to date stands at ten, when he was in the colours of Morecambe during a productive loan spell in 2020-21, a campaign which ended in the Shrimps being promoted to the third tier.

Adam Phillips. Picture: Jonathan GawthorpeAdam Phillips. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Adam Phillips. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Given a fair wind on the injury front, reaching - and even surpassing - that milestone is well within his capabilities.

He said: "I went on that run and I was that confident that every time I was on the pitch, I was going to get a chance to score.

"I was a bit disappointed with the illness and after that, I got a little knock.

"But hopefully, I can come back and find my form again.

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"Everything is fine now and I am looking forward to the second half of the season and I feel like I still have a lot more to give to the team. I just want to get back playing and scoring.

"I feel like in the last game, I was still getting myself in the positions to score the goals and the way we play is perfect for me, so I am sure there's going to be a lot of chances that come and hopefully, I get to the double figures in goals."

A double-figure return each season was par for the course for his great football icon in Steven Gerrard, who he was able to watch at close quarters during his time in the academy at Liverpool.

He continued: "My idol growing up was Steven Gerrard and obviously, he was a midfielder who scored a lot of goals.

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"He played in that number eight position as well, although he was versatile.

"He made those late runs into the box and I did watch a lot of him when I was younger.

"You must have a connection with the full-backs and wingers to know where they are going to put the ball in there and it's about the timing of the runs and getting it right for a midfielder."