Paul Heckingbottom spoke to the media this morning ahead of tomorrow night’s match against Queens Park Rangers at Oakwell.
The Reds Head Coach spoke of how much of a difference the fans made at the weekend, as well as giving a squad fitness update.
On squad fitness, Hecky said, “From the Derby game there are a couple of bumps and bruises but that’s it. Sam Winnall is progressing on his hamstring injury and Ryan Williams is out running with Nathan Winder (Head of Sports Science) now as well so everyone is progressing, we just want everyone back. Touch wood we’ve done ok so far but it’d be nice to have everyone fit!”
Reds winger Adam Hammill is expecting to become a father again this week and Hecky spoke about the important conversation he has had with Hammill and whether he can play on Wednesday.
He explained, “When it happens, it happens. I have spoke to Adam about it and he’s adamant he wants to play so I think it would be a case of him preparing for the game tomorrow, turning his phone off and dealing with it all afterwards! It’s important that you speak to players about stuff like that, we did it with Lewin Nyatanga and Josh Scowen at the end of last year. It’s probably something the players don’t really think about but from my point of view you need to get it in the plan so you have a cut-off point of when they are and aren’t available, it’s important they know you’re thinking about them.”
Hecky then spoke about the Championship venture going forwards and how pleased he was with the weekend’s victory over Derby.
“We played well and worked hard.” He said. “We worked our socks off last season but we’ve gone up another level. Probably won’t begin to really, really understand the effects of how hard we’re working and the level we’re working at until we’re a few more weeks into the season, because we want to play like that every week and we want the players to play like that every week but to do that we may need to change things, but at the minute we’re really pleased. They worked their socks off pre-season too.”
The fans support against Derby was superb, Oakwell’s atmosphere was fantastic and Hecky has urged the fans to keep that up.
Speaking on whether the support helped the team, Hecky stated, “Yeah definitely, we need it. It’s great and it does make a difference and whatever the result, however the games going, we need the fans, we need them to be behind the team, I’ve said it before that team will give them everything as soon as they cross the white line and we want the fans to respond in the same way.”
Watch the full extended press conference with Tom Bradshaw over on Barnsley Player HD!