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Heckingbottom on Burton Albion

14 April 2016

With Barnsley’s trip to Burton Albion 48 hours away, Caretaker Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom insisted that the Brewers are not to be taken lightly.

Despite being without a win in any of their last four matches, Burton remain in the automatic promotion places, five points clear of nearest rivals Walsall.

Heckingbottom feels that the Reds have to remain at their best in order to come away with three points.

He said: “It’s not that they have been in sticky form but they haven’t been getting the points they were earlier on.

“They’re still in decent form, when they’ve lost a couple they’ve won one and have remained right up there.

“Burton are difficult to beat especially at home so it will be a tough game, but our approach has to be same as it is to every game, we know what we have to do and have to be at our best.

“They like to press us and are disciplined in the way that they work. They’re very good at getting the ball back and protect the goal when they are under pressure.

“What they are is a very good team when they get ahead and it’s probably going to be a tight game.”

A slight injury to full-back James Bree is Heckingbottom’s only minor injury worry prior to the trip to Burton with George Williams likely to return to the side in his place.

He added that despite the side approaching the end of the season, some players will need protecting but stressed they have not stopped running for him.

He added: “James has had a reoccurrence of his hamstring injury, we’re not sure how severe it is but he’s definitely out.

“We’re hoping to have him back sooner rather than later. We knew he was desperate to get back for Wembley and was ahead in his rehab and it’s unfortunate he got injured on Tuesday.

“Adam Hammill had cramp as his groin tightened. There’s a few need wrapping up in cotton wool given we have another Saturday and Tuesday run coming up.

“If you have been playing all the games, you should be robust enough to cope with those games. They have given everything in every game.”

With only five games remaining in the season, Heckingbottom is thankful that the Reds still have something to play for and feels it adds to the enjoyment of his job.

He hopes the fans share his optimism in reaching the play-offs and get the same excitement he currently does from the Reds’ results.

“You have to be in the thick of it and have things to play for at this stage in the season and I’m sure the fans will feel the same way.

“From a personal point of view, I’d hate to be on the sidelines winning a game and not having the same buzz.

“The fans are hanging on to the fact we’re chasing the play-offs and we want that to continue for as long as possible because that’s what it’s about,” asserted Heckingbottom.

Should the Reds reach the play-offs, the Caretaker Head Coach admitted that work will need to be done to extend the loans of certain players, including winger Harry Chapman.

Heckingbottom is optimistic of extending his loan deal to run through until the play-off final, should the Reds get there.

“They are not all available at minute but there is scope to extend them for the remainder of games. Harry’s deal is up on the 8th, but it’s important we keep everyone in this group together,” he said.

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