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O'Grady aims for the top

By Doug O'Kane, Sports Editor Friday 14th February 2014
Chris O'Grady.

Barnsley's top-scorer Chris O'Grady dreams of the Premier League but is focusing on keeping the Reds up this season.

 

O'Grady notched his 11th league goal of the campaign against Ipswich on Saturday and is expected to cruise to the Player of the Year Award. He was linked with several other Championship clubs in the January transfer window but no official bids were made.

 

The 28-year-old striker said: "It's nice to get to double figures because it feels like the pressure is off and anything else now is a bonus. I am wanting to get to the Premier League so I have got to show I can do it at this level. I just want to show that I'm on a par with the best in this league and if a Premier League club feels it needs a player of my type then that might happen.  But I just want to keep doing my best for Barnsley then see what happens.  If I did get a move to the Premier League, that would be a credit to myself and to Barnsley."

 

O'Grady has bagged almost half of the Reds' league goals this season but, despite having twice as many as anyone else, he says he does not feel under pressure to net. He said: "I wasn't really brought here to score goals. I was brought to link up and set others up. It has worked out that I have got a few goals which is not bad for me personally but I would like to be setting more up."

 

O'Grady says he would rather be on a winning streak than a scoring streak and admits he has been frustrated that the second-bottom Reds have conceded late goals in their last two games against his former club Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich.  If we keep getting leads and throwing them away there's only one way it's going to end up.  We conceded one goal against Ipswich and it obviously affected us, maybe subconsciously.

 

"We need to draw games we're losing and win games we're drawing. "Instead of worrying in the last 20 minutes, we should be looking to score. The fans will be worrying that we'll concede late on and rightly so given recent games but we need to show them that we can hold on. This season we have been very competitive up to 70 minutes but not for the whole game.

 

"We're getting there. It's just those fine lines. If the Wednesday and Ipswich games had gone the way we wanted then the momentum would be with us. "It's not quite with us so far but the games are coming thick and fast now so hopefully we get on one of those runs.

 

"A game like Doncaster away is the perfect time to spark it. The games against Doncaster, Charlton and Millwall are going to be massive.  We won't say that at the time but they are. If we can get through those games and still be in touch then we'll have a great chance of staying up. People don't expect us to stay up like they didn't last season. You want to prove them wrong. Barnsley always do it the awkward way and I am happy to do that."