Swansea City midfielder Conor Hourihane has claimed to the club’s official website that there will be no room for the sentimentality when he takes on his former side Barnsley in the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi finals.
Hourihane previously spent a large bulk of his career at Oakwell between 2014 and 2017, racking up a total of 134 appearances before departing for Aston Villa in a January move.
The Villa man has since helped his current club to achieve a top six finish after arriving on loan and will be looking to make an impact against the Tykes when the two clubs lock horns in the first leg of their semi final next Monday.
However, Hourihane has moved to dispel any talk of sentiment getting in the way of his desire to win the tie against his former club, with the Irishman stating the following recently:
“That is a club I hold very fond to my heart now, they put me on the map really.
“We had great success there, we won at Wembley twice. I have been back there a few times since and they are a fantastic club and I was in the right place at the right time.
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“I still speak to Paul Heckingbottom as he was my boss there, and a few of the other lads. I had a great time there.
“Wherever I have played I care about the club I represent.”
The 30-year-old has featured 19 times for the Swans since arriving at the Liberty Stadium in January and has notched up five goals and two assists in the process.
Players playing against their former clubs is something of a unique enigma in football. It can drive some on and in other cases, it can really affect their performances.
Hourihane will be fondly remembered for the performances he gave in a red shirt but there is no doubt that he could prove to be one of Barnsley’s chief tormentors over these coming few games when he comes up against them with Swansea.
He has been a breath of fresh air for the Welsh club and continues to impress since making what was a very calculated mid-season move.
If his performances continue in their recent vein, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Swans make a move to sign him permanently this summer, no matter what division they find themselves in, as he appears to be really settled.