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Heckingbottom on Reaching Wembley (Again)

19 May 2016

After overseeing the Reds’ 6-1 aggregate triumph against Walsall, Caretaker Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom insists his side's focus must no lapse as they “still have a job to do.”

Speaking after their 3-1 success at the Banks’s Stadium, Heckingbottom feels the Reds must now turn their attention to the Play-Off final, next Sunday.

He said: “Our aim was to get through to the final and we’ve done that now. The lads deserve all the credit they get, the way in which they have applied themselves over the two legs.

“We’ve been the better team over both legs and we made it comfortable for ourselves and they only did that through their dedication, how hard they’ve worked and their discipline.

“Our focus shifts to the next game which is the final and we have to prepare for that now, no matter who we face.

“We’ll all watch the game together and then the preparation begins after that.”

Heckingbottom was adamant the side should apply themselves from the first whistle and they did exactly that, preventing the Saddlers from settling in front of their own fans.

He added: “We wanted to start quick and wanted to be the ones dictating and I thought we did that and probably could have had a couple before we did.

“Once again everyone has contributed, from Davies making the fine save at a crucial time, to the subs coming on and seeing the game out in the last 25 minutes.”

The Caretaker Head Coach felt the Reds had to show respect at all times to their opponents and felt the way they applied themselves was a testament to the whole side.

“We wanted to play with intensity and dictate the tempo and we wanted to dictate with that, we knew we might get caught a couple of times but that’s how we had to play,” Heckingbottom added.

“If we’d have tried to contain them and sit back, we’d have been in for a long night, although there were occasions when the game panned out like that.”

Lloyd Isgrove was awarded the Man of the Match honour but Heckingbottom felt it was important to focus on the squad as a whole for yet another superb performance.

He said: “Lloyd had excellent pace and energy and that has shown with every member through the team. It was pointless us sitting back and trying to contain teams, we have to go at them and try and affect them.

“They’re the type of players we have in the team and once again it paid dividends.

“I thought both centre forwards and both wingers were excellent, posing a threat all night and they were ably backed up by Conor and Josh Brownhill with excellent discipline in the middle of the park and the back four once again.”

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