Barnsley: Adam Hammill interview

Eight goals and numerous assists before the advent calendars have even been opened – Adam Hammill admits he is enjoying his best season yet as a pro.

But expect December to get even better, the winger revealing he's desperate to net 10 goals by Christmas.

Now in his second full season at Oakwell, Hammill has already beaten last year's tally of four and indeed every other season's total, be it on loan at Dunfermline in 2006-07, at Southampton the following season or at Blackpool and Barnsley the year after that.

And, at 22 years of age, the Merseysider is now fulfilling the abundant promise he showed in 14 years with Liverpool where he was regarded as a star product of the club's Academy.

The midfielder is now one of Barnsley's star men with the 5ft 10in ace netting particularly important goals this term in wins against Leeds, Middlesbrough and, most recently, against Portsmouth at the weekend.

And more will surely follow, the Liverpudlian revealing a new sense of high ambition and a determination to reach double figures before he tucks into his Christmas dinner.

"I spoke with the gaffer and we've got our own little target," Hammill said.

"But I've set myself my own personal target and that was to get into double figures before Christmas. If I'd said that at the start of the season people would have laughed at me, but I was confident.

"I've gone away in the summer and I've come back refreshed.

"I'm taking it a lot more seriously this year and I think I'm reaping the benefits now.

"At the start of the season I definitely believed in my own ability and I said to myself that I want to get into double figures before Christmas and, hopefully, that's what I will do."

Indeed, he believes he should already be on eight, Hammill distinctly unimpressed with the decision to adjudicate last weekend's opener at

Ipswich as a Marton Fulop own goal!

"I've not done bad but I said at the start of the year I wanted to be a lot more productive with goals and assists," he said.

"I've certainly done that this year with my goals but I think it should have been one more but, unfortunately, it's hit the back of the keeper's head! But, at the end of the day, as long as it went in and we scored then it doesn't really matter!"

Be it Hammill's or a Fulop own goal, that effort helped set up an impressive 3-1 success at Portman Road and back-to-back away wins for Barnsley, hot on the heels of a 2-1 success at Preston North End.

All this when Barnsley had not won a single game on their travels before the North End clash, but Hammill insists there was never any crisis and that their lack of success on the road was always going to turn.

"We never let it affect us," the wide man revealed. "The press have obviously gone and talked about it and there's a lot of negativity drawn out of the fact that we had never won away from home, but we weren't going into any game thinking about anything else but a win.

"We put it to the back of our minds, and we'd just had some tough away

games, but we hadn't been playing badly.

"We'd been playing well at home and knew we could do that away as well and now that we have got those away wins I think we can build on that."

So much so that Hammill sees no reason why the Reds cannot yet push for the play-offs.

"There's no reason why not. You just look at the Championship table and it's so tight at the minute," he said.

"Teams are beating teams where they are not expected to get anything – look at us with our last two wins away from home.

"We went on a run last year where we won a few games and then lost a few games, but if we can get consistency into our game then I've always said I think we will be there or thereabouts.

"I think we just need to be a little bit more consistent."

Barnsley will next bid to establish that consistency with next Saturday's hosting of Watford, after which December's opening trip to Doncaster will see the Tykes bid for a third away win on the spin.

All suddenly seems rosy in the Reds garden and Hammill is also impressed with the current style of Barnsley's football.

"I think if you look at the start of the year, when we were playing pre-season, we set out a certain way and kept the ball on the ground," he said.

"I think in a few games it's been difficult to do that – where teams come and they set their stall out.

"It's just been a case of trying to find the balance between playing it right and also winning our individual battles and now that we're doing that I think we can express ourselves.

"We can play a lot of attacking football but also, it's attractive, it's nice on the eye, and I think if you ask any of the players they are really enjoying playing, especially when we're winning and we're looking good."

Also looking good is Hammill who admits, two years on from leaving Liverpool, that 2010-11 is shaping up to be his best season yet.

"I think this is the most settled I've been at a club." he confirmed.

"I'm really enjoying it at the minute and I think one thing for me personally is consistency.

"I've always known that I can play well and that I would be able to play at this level – and I've shown that this season – but there was always question marks over whether I could maintain that throughout the


"It's nice to prove the critics wrong, and to get the rewards, and my hard work is showing.

"I'm really enjoying this season, working under the management here and also with the players – I think we've got a really good team.

"It's going hand in hand and I think it's been one of my most enjoyable seasons."