As the Reds edged past Oldham Athletic, Caretaker Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom expressed to the media the importance of Barnsley’s victory tonight.
A brace from Sam Winnall helped end the Reds’ three-game winless run at Oakwell and leave them only three points off the play-off places.
Heckingbottom insists that the Reds’ season can still end with a second trip to Wembley if they continue to produce high quality performances.
He said: “We feel the result in the Walsall game went our way as well so we’re back in it and it’s all we want. We keep driving forwards and we’ll enjoy it as long as we can between now and the end of the season.
“From where we were to where we are, as long as we’re in it at the end of the season is all that matters.
“We don’t want to rock up at the end of the season and games to become meaningless for us because we’ve worked hard this season and the players have been successful.
“The fans have enjoyed it but there’s nothing more exciting than the adrenalin where every win means something and every defeat hurts.
“I don’t want to experience losing that edge and I’ve been passing that down to the players as well.”
Heckingbottom did feel that the side could have performed better throughout the curse of the match and was initially disappointed that they did not increase their lead before Oldham got back into the game.
The Caretaker Head Coach asserted that on the whole, the better side came out with the right result.
“It was a decent performance and we got the win, which I thought we deserved. I’m disappointed it took their goal in the second half to kick us into gear.
“We spoke at half time and said that the second goal was going to be massive, we felt we’d get it, set up to get it but when they scored, it was like the shackles came off again and we were creating chances.
“When we missed a couple, we wondered whether or not it would be like Saturday but credit to the lads, they carried on battling and got the deserved result,” he added.
Winnall’s goals moved him onto 20 for the season and Heckingbottom praised his dedication and worth to the side.
“One of Sam’s big qualities is in his belief that he’ll score goals,” he continued. “He had a lot of big chance on Saturday and at first it wasn’t coming.
“One thing we know about him is he likes getting the chances and that’s 20 goals for him now.
“No doubt his aim will be to finish as top scorer in the league and we’ll do our best to help him get there.
“When he gets on a run it helps us. He was on a terrific run before that coincided with our good run and hopefully he can get on another one to get us to where we want to be.”
The Reds were forced to withdraw James Bree just before the interval with a hamstring injury but Heckingbottom is hopeful the teenager will return to the side quickly.
“He felt his hamstring and we had to take him off straight away. The long delay didn’t help at all, it probably cooled his muscle down and not long after he felt it.
“It’s a pity but we’ll get him back as soon as we can,” added Heckingbottom.