Barnsley: Ugbo's tough spell with Reds cut short by Chelsea

Striker Ike Ugbo's loan at Barnsley was ended yesterday after parent club Chelsea recalled him to Stamford Bridge.

Thursday, 4th January 2018, 5:00 am
Ike Ugbo. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

His year-long loan deal was cut short just six months in after a difficult spell in the Championship.

The talented youngster failed to make his mark on the second tier, scoring just once in 18 appearances for the Reds.

Championship football looked a stretch too far for the teenager as he struggled with the physicality of the league.

He failed to establish himself in Paul Heckingbottom’s starting line-up and he is the second loanee to be recalled after Harvey Barnes returned to Leicester City on New Year’s Day.

Head coach Heckingbottom has been open about wanting to add to his strike force.

And with Ugbo returning to the Premier League champions, that desire would have heightened with just Tom Bradshaw and Mamadou Thiam at his disposal now.

Backed by funds from the new owners, Heckingbottom will no doubt be assessing his options this month.

Meanwhile, Adam Hammill has issued a rallying cry to help turn the club’s form around.

The Reds got back to winning ways on New Year’s Day after a run of 10 games without three points.

Wing wizard Hammill admitted: “We’ve got to start kicking on now. We need to use that win [against Sunderland] as a stepping stone.

“We need to propel ourselves up the league. We’ve got the quality, which we’ve shown in spells.

“The team spirit and desire has never been in question and it’s now about pushing up the league.”

Heckingbottom has once again been tipped to take the Nottingham Forest job.

The Barnsley boss is the 7/2 second favourite for the job, which he was heavily linked with last season.

Earlier this term Heckingbottom was the favourite for the Sunderland job, and is in talks with the Reds over a new deal.