Harvey Barnes

Barnes Looking To Build On Recent Progress

Harvey Barnes is eager to continue his personal progression as Leicester City commence their 2020/21 Premier League campaign at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
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- Leicester City travel to West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Sunday (2pm kick-off)
- The Foxes winger will be returning to The Hawthorns for the first time after a loan spell there in 2018/19
- Barnes is excited by the chance to see former team-mates, but is focused on securing three points
- City's No.15 is also determined to improve upon his admirable personal statistics last season

Barnes - who scored nine goals on loan with the Baggies in 2018/19 - enjoyed a breakthrough season for the Foxes last term, making 42 appearances in all competitions. 

The Club's 2019/20 Young Player of the Season, an Academy graduate who joined City at the age of nine, is now keen to push on and register even more impressive numbers this term.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's behind-closed-doors curtain-raiser at The Hawthorns, Barnes, 22, started by reflecting on an unusually short pre-season for Brendan Rodgers' men.

"We’d usually get a lot longer to prepare in pre-season," he said this week. "It’s been different, a lot less games and a higher intensity to training, but it’s different on the body as well as your mind.

"We’ve had a lot to deal with over the last six months or so, but we’re all feeling good. We’re all excited for the start of the season, everyone's fit, and we can’t wait to get started.

"Every year’s going to be tough. A lot of the top teams have strengthened, so it’s going to be very competitive, but we’re feeling strong going into the season so we’re ready to compete.

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Harvey Barnes
Harvey Barnes

Barnes has featured regularly in pre-season and is hoping to make an even greater impact in 2020/21.

"We’ve got a young squad and that’s a positive. We’ve got a lot of room to learn and improve so for the young lads to learn from the senior pros, it can only benefit the squad."

The former MK Dons, Barnsley and West Brom loanee was satisfied with his progress last season, but now feels ready to make the next step in his development at the Football Club - with the help of Rodgers.

"I think this year could be massive," he continued. "I was pleased with last year, my first full season in the Premier League, but I need to build on that.

"Stats-wise and performance-wise, I want to hit high standards and, this year, I’ve got a lot to work on and improve on, but I’m really excited for where it could take me.

"I’ve been working on finishing and working on my movements to create goalscoring opportunities.

"For me, as an attacking player, I want to get as many goals and assists as I can to help the team, so it’s something that I continue to work on.

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Harvey Barnes
Harvey Barnes

The City youngster's game was developed by an encouraging loan spell at the Hawthorns two seasons ago.

"He’s [Rodgers] very good on the training ground. He’s someone who you can ask questions to and he’s always pointing out different bits that you can work on in games to improve on as a player.

"I’d like to improve on last season. I was happy with my first full season in the Premier League, but I want to improve on that and get those numbers a little higher."

Barnes will recognise many members of Slaven Bilić's matchday squad in the Black Country on Sunday after enjoying such a profitable loan spell at the club.

However, the England Under-21s international says he will wait until full-time - hopefully after securing three points for Leicester - before fully reacquainting himself with his former colleagues.

"Of course, we know it’s going to be a difficult game," he added. "They’re newly promoted so you don’t always know what to expect, but we’re going there confident and we’ll be looking to pick up a win.

"Normally they’d have the crowd behind them which could be a factor for us. Normally you have to deal with the crowd at a newly-promoted club as well as the team.

"We know ourselves that if we play our game and put in the sort of performance that we know we can do, then we should do well."

All times BST.

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