GEORGE Barker has vowed to make his mark on the Swindon Town side by the end of the current campaign.
Barker, who arrived from Brighton on an 18-month deal in January, has made just five appearances for his new club since joining - four of which have been as a substitute.
The 22-year-old has found himself down the pecking order, behind the likes of Nile Ranger, Michael Smith, Dany N’Guessan, Alex Pritchard and Jacob Murphy, but he is determined to prove to manager Mark Cooper that he is worth an extended run in the side.
“The team when I came were doing very well and the style of play they were playing was really encouraging. Recently the form has dipped but it’s about me working as hard as I can to get into the team,” he said.
“I would like to have played a few more games but I have to keep on being patient and working hard for my place.
“When I’m called upon I’ve got to take my chance and I’ve got to keep working as hard as I can in training to show the gaffer and Luke what I can do. I have to be patient and wait for my time to come and, when it does come, make the most of it.
“All I can say is I have to keep showing him what I can do in training and keep showing him what I’m like as a person off the pitch and make sure I do everything properly, keep as fit as I can and hopefully that should persuade him to give me a little run-out.”
In total, Barker has racked up just 166 minutes of competitive action in a red shirt since pitching up in Wiltshire and he’s admitted that so much time spent sat on the bench has been immensely frustrating.
“As an impact sub you have to be confident and go on and think you’re going to change the game, grab a goal - every time I’m sat on the bench I’m hoping I’m going to come on and do something that’s going to get the gaffer to maybe play me a bit more,” he said.
“It’s been hard in some of the games I’ve come on in. It’s been a bit scrappy, we’ve been on the back foot and I just need a little break - a goal or something fantastic to give myself the best chance of playing regularly.
“Confidence is a massive thing in football and if I’m not playing I’m not going to be as happy, I want to be out on the pitch every game just the same as every player.
“I just have to stay as strong as I can and when my chance does come really take it and, hopefully, from there don’t look back.”