Reds Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom spoke to the press ahead of the match against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough tomorrow night.
Hecky started by reflecting on the weekend win over Norwich City at Oakwell, stating how pleased he was with the performance.
“It was really pleasing. We showed a lot of different things to our game I think on Saturday. Looking back, that’s the most pleasing thing. When you look back and see what we did, it was really good in terms of the energy, the organisation and discipline without the ball throughout the game. We impacted that as an attacking weapon in the first half and created chances and I think we were good value.”
The Reds are now mid-table in the Sky Bet Championship, but remain just three points off the play-off positions in a highly-contested league.
“You get what you deserve. At the minute we deserve to be 11th, we deserve to have won eight and lost eight, and that’s it. Our aim is to always get better and we are always looking at what we can do to get better, by doing the right things more often than not you can begin to change your luck and we got our rewards at the weekend.”
Tom Bradshaw has started the last two matches for the Reds and the Head Coach is pleased with the contribution from him, especially after his goal on Saturday helped the team to a vital three points.
“He’s done great. He’s had to wait for his chance and now he’s been a handful up-top he really has. There are areas of his game we need to push him on and improve on, but he’s been a handful and I thought he started the game great on Saturday.”
Hecky’s side now head to Hillsborough in good-form and with the chance to go above their South Yorkshire rivals with a win tomorrow night. He gave his thoughts on potentially being the highest placed side in the region, and his feelings on derby matches as a whole.
“That would be nice, but I am sure Carlos is saying the same to his players because if we lose they will be above us. It’s bragging rights, it adds extra spice and that’s what you want. One thing you did used to get when the laws were a little bit different was the atmosphere and electricity was there from the crowd because of a bad tackle or something really physical happening in the game.
“The fact we’re in the same league and close together will add that extra little bit of excitement. We’ll just go there and play our game, that’s it. I think they’ve changed the way they play from watching them last season to this one. They change depending on the opposition, they are a team who can play different ways whether that’s forceful or a little bit more direct with the two up-top. They can play any type of game.”
Derby matches are often the first fixture anyone looks for on the calendar, but Hecky wants to make sure everyone realises that the season does not end on tomorrow’s fixture, there are plenty of other matches to help the Reds achieve their goals this season.
“As a player you’ll love the atmosphere, everyone wants to play in derbies and big games because they are fantastic. However, you don’t define your season on finishing above your rivals, it’s defined on how well you do. For the fans it’s different, the bragging rights and ‘banter’ are what it is all about. It's a big game, we have to perform. We understand what it takes to win in this league."
The past 12 months has seen a huge upward progression for the Reds, so Heckingbottom laid down a challenge to all connected with Barnsley Football Club for the next year or so.
“Everyone can see the improvement from where we were to where we are now. The challenge we have set to everyone at the football club and that is everyone, is how do we sustain this and then get even better. If you’re satisfied with where you are there is only one way you’ll go.”
Watch Paul Heckingbottom’s press conference in full on Barnsley Player HD!
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