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First Team News

Barky Keen To Impress Gaffer

17 January 2022

Tom Barkhuizen is looking to show manager Ryan Lowe what he can do in the coming weeks following a “very frustrating” period on the sidelines.

Barky had been out of action with injury since the end of November before making his return to the side in Saturday’s draw against Birmingham City.

Watch The Full Interview Here

Throughout his time at the club, the former Morecambe man has featured very regularly so being unavailable is not something he is too familiar with.

However, this season his appearance tally has reached just 12 so far, given his earlier struggles with Covid and the injury he suffered in the home draw against league leaders Fulham.

“It’s naturally very frustrating,” he admitted. “It’s not been easy, especially for someone who’s not used to it.

“I don’t particularly enjoy going in the gym anyway so to spend so much time in there – I think I’ve probably missed three or four months – it’s been difficult.

“It’s not been easy, and it’s something I’ve had to get used to. I’ve had to get my mind right and my body right and just kind of work off how I feel.

“It’s taken a lot longer than I thought it would at the time, but it’s great to be back, and hopefully I can get more involved and show the manager what I can do.”

That has been one of the most frustrating factors for Barky, that when Ryan Lowe was appointed at the club he wasn’t able to get the ball at his feet and show what he’s about.

PNE’s No.29 feels he was so keen to do just that that he tried to come back earlier than he was perhaps ready for, which ultimately led to more time away from the pitch.

He said: “I think it was a case of I probably tried to come back a little bit too early.

“The new manager comes in and I think I was the only one sat in the gym, and it gets quite lonely, and it gets even more frustrating then and you’re desperate to get back.  

“So I probably tried to come back a little bit too early and then I ended up missing a couple more games because I just wasn’t right.

“I went for scans and they were all fine so it was more just how do I feel, and as long as I can get through relatively pain-free then I want to be out there.

“I want to be showing what I can do and getting myself back in because I enjoy playing and that’s what I want to do.”

Barky, who was used at right wing back when he came on against Birmingham, will be hoping to be feature again in some capacity on Tuesday night when Sheffield United come to Deepdale.

The Blades – relegated from the Premier League last season – arrive level on points with PNE, and the reverse fixture between the two ended all square, with Emil Riis scoring a stoppage-time equaliser.

“It’s always been tough against them," added Barky. "It’s probably surprising to most of the league where they are at the moment.

“I think they’re one place above us in 14th. I think most people would have expected them to be top two or top three, but we know they’re going to move the ball well.

“We know they’re going to try have a lot of possession, but obviously the way the gaffer’s come in now and wants us to have more possession than the opposition, so it should be a good match-up and we’ll be ready.

“The gaffer puts a lot of emphasis on how we’re going to play rather than how the opposition are going to play, and hopefully we can excite people and bring home three points.”

Hear much more from Barky on his recovery and working under Ryan Lowe in his full interview on iFollow PNE.


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