Ahead of a busy Easter weekend with matches at home to Scunthorpe and away at Port Vale, Paul Heckingbottom gave his thoughts to the press about his side. Heckingbottom gave updates on injury news from the squad and his feelings on the two upcoming matches.
Heckingbottom explained, “We’ve got lots missing through call-ups and injuries. Aidy White is back in training today and James Bree is progressing well with his hamstring.
“Marley Watkins hasn’t shaken off his dead calf, so obviously there is some bleeding in there that we can’t get out, he’s going to see a specialist so he’s not available.
“It’s an opportunity for people and we know we’ve got a good eleven whatever team we put out. It’s a case of people stepping up and staking their claim, trying to stay in the team for the next game.”
Moving on to the match against The Iron at Oakwell on Friday, Heckingbottom was keen to ensure his side are ready to deal with a rejuvenated Scunthorpe side who have only had one defeat in eleven and have appointed a new manager this week.
“All I know is that Dawsy (Nick Daws) and Daws (Andy Dawson) steadied the ship and got them chasing the play-offs.” Heckingbottom said. “We’re expecting a team coming that are hungry and still chasing the top six. Graham Alexander has had success before, getting promoted to this league, so it will be interesting to see what he brings.
“We know in the short term that their players will react and be out to impress so it makes them even more dangerous. We have to be ready for it and factor that into our preparation to make sure we come out with a positive result.
“We’ve seen them play a few times, I saw them against Doncaster and they were far better. They played with a lot of energy, they’re an experience team that looked to win the ball high up and I came away thinking they would be a tough team to beat.
“We know if we play well enough we’ll give anyone a tough game so we’re focusing on what we can do and how we need to approach the game. The players are playing for places, not only for Wembley but chasing a play-off spot as well.”
The Reds only have a gap of two days between fixtures against Scunthorpe and Port Vale and Heckingbottom said he’s had this weekend ‘on his mind’ for a while.
“A while back we saw these two games and thought they’re two massive games for us.” He explained. “This weekend is probably the biggest coming up. We had it in our minds and nothing has changed. They’re two good teams, well organised and experienced. For different reasons they’re posing teams problems with their style of play.
“We’re going to chase every single point and see where it gets us. If we keep beating teams in and around us, people aren’t going to want to play us and show us the respect we deserve.”
Watch the extended video of today's press conference now on Barnsley Player HD.