Iron winger Adam Hammill will be putting old friendships on hold this weekend, as he gears up to face his former club Barnsley at Oakwell on Saturday afternoon.
Hammill enjoyed success during three separate spells with the Yorkshire club, and even though he has returned to Oakwell as an opposing player before, he is even more excited about the prospect of visiting his old hunting ground this time around.
The attacker made almost 200 appearances for the Tykes, spending a total of five years in South Yorkshire over three different spells, and quickly built up a reputation as a hero, but he says it will be business as usual once he steps onto the pitch for Scunthorpe on Saturday.
Speaking to IFollow Iron ahead of his return to Yorkshire, Hammill said: “I’m excited by the prospect of the fixture. It’ll be nice to go back to Oakwell and see some familiar faces. However, as soon as I get across that white line and step onto the pitch, it’s business as usual. I hope that by 4:55pm, we will be showering away, with the three points in the bag.”
The 31-year-old left the Tykes last summer, having racked up 100 appearances in his final spell between 2015 and 2018.
Talking about how the opposing fans will react on Saturday, he went on to say: “I think it’ll be a nice reception. There will be a lot of respect between me and them.
“It will also be an exciting fixture because we are both two of the form teams in the league at the minute, so it’ll make for an interesting spectacle for sure.
“As soon as the whistle goes, everything goes out of the window, I’ll have my professional mindset on, and we’ll try to go out there to upset the party.”
Hammill also reflected back on the time he revisited Oakwell when playing for rivals Huddersfield back in 2013.
He added: “It can be a tough test to play against your old club. When I returned to Oakwell before, it was daunting. I was young, and I let it affect me. However, I’m older now and more experienced, so I know how to handle these situations.”
As a player who knows a lot about the club and the way they play, Hammill expects it to be a tough encounter, but one the fans should look forward to with good optimism, as two of the form teams in the league go head-to-head.
The Iron will be looking to stretch their unbeaten run to seven games and will be searching for their sixth win.
As for Barnsley, they are also currently in the midst of decent form themselves, having not lost since the turn of the year and they sit third in the Sky Bet League One table.
Speaking about how he expects the home side to set up, Hammill said: “They are going to come out attacking. They will also try to play open and entertaining football. It’s up to us to become resolute to stop that and go out onto the pitch with our own gameplan to make sure we try and get the three points.”
Scunthorpe will be trying to make it back-to-back wins on Saturday following a 1-0 success away at Fleetwood last weekend.
An own goal 15 minutes from time by Ashley Eastham made sure the Iron came away with three points, after good play by Levi Sutton down the right caused the Fleetwood defence problems.
Reflecting back on the performance to earn the win, Hammill stated: “It was a very professional performance. I think we would have taken that result before the game kicked off if someone would have offered it to us.
“The conditions weren’t too good either because it was wet and windy, so therefore it wasn’t a game where we could express ourselves. We had to do a job for the team, but I’m just delighted we got the win.”
The game against Fleetwood also marked Hammill’s first start in Scunthorpe United colours and he relished the opportunity after netting the winner when coming on as a substitute in the last home game at Glanford Park against Sunderland.
He said: “I was delighted to play. However, it wasn’t about the individual performance, it was about the team ethic and work rate. I had to sacrifice my own performance, but I’m happy to do that as long as the team win.”
Hammill may have had to wait patiently for his chance to shine, but he has praised the work ethic throughout the whole squad, as the players battle it out for a chance to start in Stuart McCall’s starting eleven.
He added: “It’s been great inside the dressing room. All the lads have been coming into training and giving it everything by working hard.
“We have a good set of lads here and there is no negativity even if they have been left out of the squad because they all understand it’s about the team performance.
“However, everybody comes in each day to work hard in order to implement their possibility of getting into the team for the next game.”
Speaking about how preparations have been going this week in training, Hammill said: “It’s been great. The mood in the camp has been excellent, everyone is upbeat, and we are all looking forward to the task in hand on Saturday.
“The weather has been really cold, but it’s been an enjoyable week and hopefully we can turn that into an enjoyable weekend too.”
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