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Heckingbottom's Colchester Reaction

30 April 2016

Following Barnsley’s late 2-2 draw with Colchester United, Caretaker Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom insisted his side will learn from their mistakes ahead of their trip to Wigan.


Tom Lapslie’s late goal saw the Reds drop two points but they remain in the play-off places on goal difference alone.


Heckingbottom remains positive that the Reds can earn a crucial win against the Latics as they aim to finish in the top six next weekend.


He said: “I’ve spent the last few minutes trying to put it in perspective and that is it, we’re where we want to be.


"In that game, I was so up and down at times but there’s lots of plusses in there and individual good stuff. The energy and work-rate was there but there was also some really bad decision-making and poor quality at times.


“We have to be better going forward and it’s a game to learn from but putting it in perspective, we have a chance of the play-offs in the last game.


“We’d been preparing for what would be a tough game all week and knew they’d have opportunities against us and we’d have opportunities against them.


“When they had 10 men and the striker in goal was when they really had their only attack. We have to be better, brighter and more ruthless.


“When it’s 2-1, your decision making needs to be a bit different. We still had everybody back doing their jobs when they did get the goal but we were a bit lax and we got punished.”


Manchester United loanee Ashley Fletcher netted both goals for the Reds and Heckingbottom praised his work ethic throughout the afternoon.


He hopes the striker will keep learning while on loan with the Reds and expects him to maintain his current level of consistency.


“Ashley did well. We felt it was coming this week and we thought our centre forwards would cause them problems this week.


“Fletch was really positive and buoyant before the game and you sensed he’d have a good game. He got the two goals and most of our good play came from individual quality.


“If we’d have been more consistent with our quality and keeping possession, we’d have had more chances and if we’d have been more ruthless, we’d have taken them to make it an easier game.


“That’s been his most consistent game for 90 minutes. I thought he showed that in the first half against Sheffield United and we spoke about that this morning, how he can replicate that form over longer periods.


“He did it and fair play to him. The more time he spends here with us the more time he’s learning how to be effective using his attributes.”


Heckingbottom added he is most disappointed for the fans, who have stuck by the Reds through thick and thin this season.


He hopes that Barnsley can reward them with one final hoorah by earning a spot in the play-offs.


He added: “I feel a little for the fans and we can’t hide how disappointed we are, that’s us as staff and the players because we missed out on a couple of points.


“I feel for the fans in that respect but they gave us great backing and support and that will help to pick the players up, not that we need picking up given we have a chance of the play-offs next week.


“It comes down to a game we were hoping for a long time ago and we’ve managed to get there. We have a lot riding on one game.


“The dressing room was flat, it’s sickening and not too much was said. We have to go through that game with a fine tooth comb and pick everything out of it because we have to learn.


“That’s the 11, the subs that came on, we have to be better than that.


“The players should be lifted without saying anything. They should be speaking about going to Wigan and trying to get in the play-offs.


“They shouldn’t need lifting, we’ll just have our same approach against Wigan. The lads have been great with their energy and mood the last five weeks and although results dictate our jobs, we can’t let them dictate our mood.


“We’ll be ready come next week."


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