Ahead of the Reds' final home League One match of the season, Paul Heckingbottom addressed the press with news on this weekend’s fixture against Colchester United.
Heckingbottom started by giving team news, before talking about his thoughts on what Colchester would bring to Oakwell.
On the injuries in the side, Heckingbottom said, “They are progressing but I can’t see anyone being back. If they are, it’s a bonus but we’re planning without Aidy White, James Bree, George Smith and Marley Watkins.
“We’ve been trying to reward the players that are doing well, the back four are doing superb and the players have all changed position again! We’re getting clean sheets which is great, the form has been good but it’s all about the last two games now.”
Currently sitting in sixth place, the Reds know they have their destiny in their own hands and would guarantee a Play-Off position with two wins from their last two games.
“Yeah it is which is great.” Heckingbottom Explained. “It does change things a little bit, but looking at all those teams, nobody is going to win both games. Some teams play each other so who knows what’s going to happen. Our first target was to be in the mix come the last game and we’ve done that now, regardless of what happens Saturday.
“Depending on our result and how we perform Saturday, we could be going into the final game in a much stronger position and that’s our aim.
“On Saturday we just want to win the game. Our mindset is to win the game and that’s the only approach we’ve got. As with Peterborough though, you can’t go gung-ho and expect to win it in the first ten minutes because it might be the last minute, a win is a win! We’ll be trying everything we can and show the same quality, patience and determination to get the win.”
Saturday’s opponents Colchester United have already been relegated and Heckingbottom was keen to ensure everyone remained focused on winning, whilst being wary of Colchester’s qualities at the same time.
“We have to be aware.” He stated. “Not just the players but everyone. As we said against Peterborough, the anxiety and expectation can transfer itself onto the pitch, we need to be focused and determined to get the three points but do it in a controller manner. We have to be really wary of Colchester, every game I’ve watched of them they have caused problems for the opposition.
“They are a threat, but again we have to impose ourselves on them and cause them more problems than they cause us. We’ve got a job to do and it’s to get three points, that’s it. It’s been great all the way around this place, everyone has been really focused and the message is just to put yourself in with the best possible chance for the last game.
“They’ve got some real good individual players” He continued. “They’re a good attacking force. When they got beat off Peterborough they were the better team by a mile!
“They’ve got good attacking players all over the pitch, experience in Porter up top and two good wingers. We don’t know the team they’ll play but we do know the manner in which they play, which is attacking and creative.”
After three successive clean sheets over the last three games, the Reds Caretaker Manager wants his team to keep getting better.
Heckingbottom said, “We have to keep looking to get better, sometimes it does change from game to game. At Bramall Lane we stood up to the test and matched them, but we could have been better with the ball. If we are going to get where we want to be we’re going to come up against that atmosphere and quality of opposition again.”