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Heckingbottom on Reaching Play-Offs

8 May 2016

Paul Heckingbottom reflected on his side’s excellent performance following a final day win at Wigan, to send the Reds into the League One Play-Offs.


The Reds won convincingly by four goals to one, which Heckingbottom described as his “favourite” performance of the season.


“That’s right up there, it’s my favourite, definitely.” He Explained. “Not just the result and the occasion but the preparation we did and the lads carried certain things out, so in terms of preparation, performance and result it’s my favourite so far, definitely.”


After going behind to their hosts early on, the Reds hit back and scored four superb goals in front of nearly 5,000 travelling fans.


Heckingbottom said, “We have to take confidence from it, we thought we started well but then Wigan showed why they have been crowned Champions. They really showed they were 100% up for the game and caused us lots of problems, but a lot of that was our doing as well. 


“We came away from our game plan, but as soon as we went back on it we got the rewards and earned the right to frustrate Wigan, keep the ball and play on the counter. 


“I can’t remember too much about the goals if I’m honest! I remember Browny’s, I remember Winnall’s penalty but I can’t remember the build-up. Our game-plan was to press and win the ball high up the pitch and when we started doing it, we got joy from it.


“It made the job for the back four a lot easier as the top six defended from the front. Once we were in front we could sit back and defend with two banks of four, then control where Wigan played the ball.”


Following such a dominant display, Heckingbottom was asked if it would give his team ‘momentum’ for the Play-Off race.


He answered, “Yeah, I think the fact this was such a big game as there were three of us chasing this last spot, we have to take confidence from that. That’s one box ticked but we have another one to try and cross, then onto a final. 


“We’ve got a big hurdle in Walsall, who by all accounts were really good today. They finished third, they’ve been up there all season, so we know the job in hand. We’ll approach it the same way we have been doing.”


Heckingbottom’s final words were to his players and the travelling Reds fans.


“I’m pleased for the players, they have put the effort in. The fans have turned out in numbers today, it’s pleasing that they see a performance like that when they’ve backed the players so much. The lads have sent them home happy, all round it’s been a good day.”


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