Paul Heckingbottom spoke to the media ahead of the trip to face Brentford at the weekend.
Heckingbottom started by giving a fitness update on his side. Aidy White and Saidy Janko will still be missing for the Reds, but there was positive news about the rest of the squad.
“Robbo (Marc Roberts) had a bit of cramp at the end of the game, he was in yesterday and is all good. James Bree was similar but a dead-leg, he suffered a bit of cramp because it’s his first game for a while. He’s recovered ok as well, and Conor (Hourihane) got through the game ok and as it stands he should be alright for Saturday.
“No other injury concerns from Tuesday. It’s a good job really with the numbers we’ve got that they’re all fit and well for Saturday.”
There was a Reds debut on Tuesday night for summer signing Adam Jackson. The central defender completed the full 90 minutes against Newcastle and Heckingbottom was impressed with what he saw.
“I’m pleased for him, he showed a good deal of composure and read the game very well. A lot of our goals have been coming from not sensing danger and that’s one thing he did do. I’m pleased for him to make his debut in front of a big crowd, a big atmosphere against the league leaders and he handled himself well.”
Another player who has recently commanded a starting position within the Reds side is midfielder Sam Morsy. Following his ‘Man of the Match’ performance against Fulham at the weekend, Heckingbottom has been pleased with his contribution to the side.
“He’s looked fitter in every game, because he’s not played a lot of football. He’s been getting about the pitch well, our options have been limited in there now with Scowy (Josh Scowen) being out suspended. He’s had his chance and took it well. It was a big thing having Conor back in there with him which helped. We’re obviously missing Scowy, so as soon as we get him back we’ve got three of them in there fighting for places.”
The Reds were defeated by league leaders Newcastle United on Tuesday night. Heckingbottom reflected on the match.
“We did well, we handled ourselves well and threw everything at them. First half we were asking for a bit more quality at half-time. It was a really competitive game, both teams pressed hard, competed in the air and on the floor. We just felt we gave them opportunities with our mistakes on the ball so we wanted to be better with it and control possession a bit more. They gave us nothing, they made no mistakes all game and we made a couple of errors which were punished.”
Next up for Barnsley is a trip to Griffin Park to take on Brentford. The Reds Head Coach was asked if this is a fixture that his side can look to set off on the front foot and try to get the win early in the match.
“We’ve been trying in every game so nothing changes there. We’re happy with the squad we’ve got but we do need everyone back fit, however, we’ve got more than enough to go and put in a performance down there to bring back some points. That’s our aim and that’s the aim in every game. We’ve been getting punished of late for our mistakes. Every goal we’ve conceded in the last three games, all eight of them, are from things we’re not happy with.”
He continued, “It’s a steep learning curve. We drilled it down last season and kept clean sheets, and we’re not making as many mistakes this season but we’re playing against better players so we’re getting punished. We’re asking more from the players, more concentration and we’ll definitely get there with that and in terms of their learning they need to see what happens when they do that.”
With three clean sheets to their name this season so far, Hecky’s next talking point was about whether the focus was on the defence and trying not to concede.
“We want the three points first and foremost, but if you don’t make a mistake all game you’ve got more chance of keeping a clean sheet. If you keep a clean sheet you don’t lose the game. Then if you keep a clean sheet you have more chance of winning. It’s that logical. However, we’d be happy winning 4-3 and taking all the points, we just want to win the game.”
Heckingbottom was then asked about his opposition this weekend. The Bees will be looking to return to winning ways following a 3-1 defeat at Newcastle and a 0-0 draw with Derby in their last two matches.
He said, “They’re a good young side, similar to us. Dean (Smith) is playing a similar sort of way to how he got the Walsall team playing. In possession they like to move the ball quick, they work hard and they’ve got some players who can hurt you. We know it’s going to be a tough game, we’re away from home at their place but every game is tough.
“If we bring our best we know we’ll be alright, it’s that sort of mentality. If we don’t, we know Brentford will cause us problems.”
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