Reds Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom spoke to the media following today’s stalemate at the Pirelli Stadium.Barnsley left Burton with a well earned point after playing out what was a goal less, but entertaining contest. Hecky reflected on a game of two halves where the Reds were by far better side in the opening half, but were made to defend well in the second period.
“I thought we started strongest, we were the better team first half and Burton caused us more problems than we did them in the second half.
“Arma (Adam Armstrong) had a chance early on and we had a couple more in the first half hour. It’s similar to the Bristol City game really, we failed to take them and make the game easier for ourselves. They’ve beaten some good sides here Burton, and they make it really difficult for you. They put balls in the box and you have to defend them, whether that’s set plays or in general play. And we did that generally and then when they beat us we had Davo (Adam Davies) to thank for two or three really good saves.”
The Reds kept the Burton front line quiet in the first half, however Hecky was keen to praise Reds stopper Adam Davies who pulled off a string of impressive saves in the second half to earn his side a point.
“He was terrific. I think when we watch them back we’ll see that his positioning was probably spot on. From a defensive point of view we’ll worry about how they’ve got across but the ones that were on target were generally the centre forwards running past the near post which sort of makes it easier for Davo – if he gets his angles right then it’s a difficult finish. We knew at some point that we’d have to defend our box, but we know that it could have and should have been easier for us by being in front. But that’s this league and we say it all along that it’s a big difference in this league and we have to be more clinical in front of goal. And you will get punished for mistakes at the other end.”
The Reds are now unbeaten in three games and haven’t conceded in their last two away games, but the Head Coach feels there are a number of defensive areas that the team can work on over the coming weeks as we head into a busy winter period.
“One thing we can improve on is organising and keeping the ball higher up the pitch, not dropping too deep, always being the right side, always talking to the winger in front of you or dealing with the ball wide. And through that you can limit a lot of balls going into the box. So I’m sure when we watch back there will be a lot of things to improve on.
“We couldn’t get hold of the ball second half. They are a big physical side and they have got a way of playing which makes it really difficult at times. First half we were good, second half we couldn’t get hold of the ball. We made the change and got Scowey (Josh Scowen) on it – we had little spells of possession but it didn’t really work in the second half, even when we got the break and the counter attacks, we didn’t have the quality to get the final ball in and create chances.”
The Reds now head into the international break with the next league game against Wigan Athletic at Oakwell in two weeks time. Hecky feels that the team have enjoyed a solid start to life in the Championship and is hoping to go into the winter period with his strongest possible squad.
“It’s been good, but we need to get better and we want to get better. We’ll have everyone back, except Sessi ,hopefully when we come back for the next game which is important because we have been light but the boys who have come in have coped well and done themselves justice. So we want everyone back as it gives you a lot more options both in attack and defence."
Impressive performances from Andy Yiadom, Conor Hourihane and Adam Armstrong have been rewarded with international call-ups and Hecky feels that they are seeing the rewards for the hard work that they have put in. He also feels that the call-ups show just how far we have come as a Club.
“They’ve done great. It’s good recognition for them and you want them rewarded when they’re playing well because that’s what it’s all about. It’s ok me telling them they’re doing great, but now the national set up and the national federations are recognising that. It shows they are doing something right and it gives kudos to the Club and shows how far we have come and how far we are going to take these players. It’s all about getting better and hopefully we can get some more in the national set ups.”
Watch Hecky’s full post-match interview over on Barnsley Player HD by clicking here!