Frustrating start to Mallan’s Reds’ career

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Out-of-favour Stevie Mallan has admitted he wondered whether moving to Barnsley was a mistake.

Mallan has struggled to make his mark at Oakwell, since joining for around £300,000 in the summer.

At the time, fans were raving about the capture.

The 22-year-old fired St Mirren to Scottish Championship safety with six goals in his last nine games for the club last term.

But he has not even featured in a league match-day squad for the Reds.

And Mallan revealed: “In the first couple of months, as anyone would, you start to wonder: ‘why am I here’?

“At St Mirren, I knew I was going to be playing every week. I didn’t expect to move down and go straight into the team.

“But when you are training every day and thinking you are doing well, then not getting into the team, it can be frustrating.”

Mallan insists he has now come to terms with his role in the squad after numerous discussions with coach Paul Heckingbottom.

And the Scottish U21 international is waiting in the wings and ready to capitalise once a chance comes his way.

He admitted: “I have come to terms with it now and it is just about me showing what I can do. The manager has spoken to me a lot and people at the club have helped me. I have learned a lot. It’s just about getting a chance and taking it.

“Hopefully doing well for Scotland can show the manager what I can do in big games. It’s that extra little bit of proof of what I can do if he wants to throw me in.”

Meanwhile, Heckingbottom’s future remains in doubt - with Sunderland interested in taking the 40-year-old to the Stadium of Light. H

eckingbottom plied his trade at the club early in his career.