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Paul Heckingbottom: Everton Match Reaction

23 July 2016

"It Has Shown Us We Need To Be Ruthless In Both Boxes"

Despite suffering his first defeat in pre-season, Barnsley Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom feels the Reds have learnt a lot from their test against Everton.

Goals from Kevin Mirallas, Gerard Deulofeu and Ross Barkley helped Ronald Koeman’s side to a 3-0 win at Oakwell.

Heckingbottom feels the gulf in class between the two sides will help the squad develop their attacking edge as they prepare for life in the Championship.

He said: “We set up with a plan to get the players to understand what we’re about and first half they did. We wanted more of the same in the second half but the second goal killed us.

“They were bringing on internationals in the second half and we had lads who were playing the full 90 minutes. It was tough for them and tough to watch when they’re getting the runaround.

“We have to understand these games serve a purpose and at the end of the day, we’ve more than matched them for efforts on goal but they’ve come away with three goals.

“It has shown us we need to be ruthless in both boxes.”

Heckingbottom added that he thinks the side are continuing to develop their skills and adapt their style to suit their forthcoming Championship opposition.

He was pleased with how the side responded to falling behind and that the squad treated the game with the respect it deserved.

“We went in at half time and it was like a proper game of football and that’s what we need. We have another two before the start of the season and they’re much more realistic for us.

“They understand what we’re trying to do and the lads’ application was good. I think we were a bit sloppy with the ball first half and we could have really hurt them.

“At the start of the second we did, but there is no truer saying in football than goals change games. Once you’re chasing at 2-0 it’s difficult,” he added.

The Head Coach did feel that pitting players like Marc Roberts against Ross Barkley will better prepare the Reds for the challenges the Championship will throw up.

“There are going to be different tests in the Championship, that’s no disrespect to the League One players because many of them had played at a higher level.

“Week-in week-out, every player will pose different types of problems whether it be physically or by their tactics or positioning.

“We have to be ready for it and games like this will help prepare us for that.”

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