Caretaker Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom addressed the local media ahead of Tuesday night’s clash against Bury, at Gigg Lane.
Heckingbottom gave team news with updates on Aidy White and Ryan Williams, along with his thoughts from Saturday’s win over Doncaster and his feelings about the upcoming trip to Bury.
On White, Heckingbottom said, “He went straight to hospital and had an x-ray, which showed nothing conclusive, no break so we’re lucky in that respect. We’re now waiting for another opinion on the x-ray and then a scan. We hope it’s not too bad, hopefully he’ll be back sooner rather than later.”
“Ryan Williams is still out.” Heckingbottom added. “It’s not a short-term thing, it’ll be a while before he’s back. The boys who aren’t in the team at the minute need to keep themselves ready for any injuries or suspensions that may come.”
After a long-overdue win against South Yorkshire Rivals Doncaster Rovers at the weekend and another clean sheet for the Reds, Heckingbottom praised his team's work in training and ability to win games.
“It was an important win.” Heckingbottom said. “Our record over the last few years at Oakwell against Donny hasn’t been a great one, we’d spoken and stressed about the tempo we wanted to play at with and without the ball.
“It wasn’t the prettiest at times but I thought we were the better team and deserved the win. It was good to see a derby with a bit of action, it was played at a high tempo, both teams were positive and worked hard.
“The clean sheets come from structure and organisation, with discipline and the effort of the players. Even at Gillingham we conceded two with only two shots on target which was disappointing. We can’t just say it’s the back four, it’s the whole team showing desire to keep them.
“We’ve got a nice balance and that’s important, if we want to win games we’ve got to get that right. The lads are getting more experience. You can’t replicate game time and the pressure of being 1-0 up with two minutes to play, or chasing a game as we were at Gillingham.
“What you can do is get as near as possible to it on the training ground and that’s what we’ve tried to do over the last few months. It’s definitely worked with the work off the ball, we’ve tried to fast-track them and get as much information into them as we can and it’s worked.”
The Reds beat Bury 3-0 at Oakwell just a couple of weeks ago, but Heckingbottom thinks they have improved since then and stressed his team need to be ‘ready’ to go there.
“Bury weren’t happy with the nature of their defeats.” He explained. “I went to watch the Sheffield United game and you could see they (Bury) weren’t happy with their defeats. They’ve done a lot of work off the ball and it’s paid off, we know it’s going to be difficult.
“They’re a difficult team to play against anyway, we have to be ready to deal with that. They’ll want to beat us and put the last result right.
“The fact they’ve had two good results since will help them. They hit rock bottom against Coventry but have now turned a corner and they will take great confidence from the last two games.
“We’re on a good run, we’re full of confidence and we’ll go there trying to win the game. We’ll respect them and pay attention to the problems they cause but it’s all about what can we do to win the game.”