As he laid on the Fratton Park turf waiting for a stretcher, Cameron McGeehan pounded the ground in frustration. At that moment he knew his season was over and there was a tough road ahead.

Beneath his well mannered and respectful outlook, there is a quiet determination and mental toughness to Barnsley midfielder McGeehan. When League One leaders Portsmouth roll into town on Saturday, he will have more motivation than most to get one over them.

“I got booed off when I was on the stretcher”

When he was playing for Luton back in January 2017, Cameron McGeehan suffered a horror injury. He was taken to hospital after breaking his leg in the 16th minute, following a challenge with Michael Doyle.

The Portsmouth fans on the day could hardly have been less sympathetic towards the stricken midfielder. He was booed and jeered as he left the pitch on a stretcher, with frustrated Pompey followers believing he was time-wasting.

So will that give him any extra motivation on Saturday?

He said:

“For sure, I got booed off when I was on the stretcher it was a bit of a tough one at the time.
“I went back with Scunthorpe last year and they booed me again so obviously they hold something against me there.
“Obviously I think about it, it wasn’t that long ago and it would be nice to score or something like that.”

McGeehan was quick to add that this treatment is part and parcel of being a footballer and that some fans had written to him to apologise once they’d learnt the true extent of the injury.

He said:

“That’s football to be fair. They thought I was time wasting but that’s how it goes at football you get booed, you get jeered.
“I got a few letters after it happened from individual fans apologising because they thought I was time-wasting, so I appreciated that.
“Portsmouth is a massive club, my mum’s from Portsmouth so I know what it’s like down there, it’s just football.” 

“These are the type of games we relish”

Barnsley paid £850,000 to bring McGeehan to Oakwell in the summer of 2017. This was a huge vote of confidence from the club, with the midfielder still recovering from his injury.

McGeehan has had to be patient for his shot in the side. Ironically, it was an injury to teammate Kenny Dougall in October which gave him a Reds lifeline.

With an extended run in the side, are we finally seeing the best of him, or is there still more to come?

He said:

“I’m learning a new role as well which is new for me, considering what I’ve played as in my career. I’m enjoying that and learning a new style with the manager.
“So there’s always more to come and a chance to learn and get better but at the minute me and Alex (Mowatt) have been doing alright. Obviously, we haven’t got the points so we’ve got to try and turn that around.”

Back-to-back defeats have left the Reds clinging onto the final play-off spot on goal difference. With their automatic promotion campaign faltering a visit from the League One leaders could be just the incentive they need, according to McGeehan.

He said:

“It’s a massive game. We want to be playing in the Championship next season in big games, Portsmouth are a big club so these are the type of games we relish.
“We’ve done well against the bigger teams, so hopefully there will be a good atmosphere and we’ll be right up for it.
“We set ourselves a target of getting promoted, we need to be pushing for that top two now. We’ve got the squad for that but it just hasn’t happened for us yet in terms of points on the board.”