After the Reds jumped back into the play-off places, Paul Heckingbottom gave his thoughts following his side's 2-0 success against Fleetwood Town.
A Joe Davis own goal and Josh Scowen’s header five minutes from time helped the Reds bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to Southend United. Heckingbottom praised the squad’s desire to grind out three points and felt that securing a clean sheet was another added bonus for the side.
He said: “I’m really pleased with the result and a clean sheet away from home is massive, that’s what we’ve built a lot of our recent success on. We took advantage of a fortuitous first goal and made the most of it and as the game went on we got stronger and stronger. Adam Davies didn’t have a save to make second half. We would have liked a bit more quality in that respect but you can’t always do that.
"A clean sheet guarantees you a point before you've even started, goals don't secure you points. Second half we came out wanting more quality with the same determination and work rate, which they showed throughout and we capitalized, the lads have their rewards for their efforts. The main thing is we did more than enough to win and maybe could’ve got a couple more goals as well.”
The Reds’ upturn in performances is something that has particularly pleased Heckingbottom and feels with that work ethic, the club can continue to climb the table.
“The determination and the work rate has been the backbone of players’ recent run of form,” he added. “If you want to win trophies, titles or promotions that’s what you have to have and knowing how to see things out. We weren’t our most fluent with possession but that was certainly up there with one of our best performances out of possession.”
Barnsley were bottom of the League One table in December and now occupy the final play-off spot with nine games of the season remaining. With all teams battling for points at this stage in the season, Heckingbottom asserted that no game between now and the end of the campaign will be simple.
“From where we were to where we are, the turnaround has been amazing but the hard work starts here and every game between now and the end of the season will be a battle. Teams are going to make us earn every point,” added Heckingbottom.
His decision to bring Josh Scowen off the bench proved an inspired switch as the midfielder netted his first goal for the club since returning from injury. He praised Scowen’s work ethic and his delight at the midfielder’s goal.
“Josh was arguably our best player at the start of the season and he was unfortunate to get his injury when he did. Knowing we’ve got someone like him on the bench to bring on whenever you need him and wherever you want him to play is fantastic. I’m delighted that he got the goal,” he added.