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Hecky: "There Were More Positives Than Negatives In That Performance."

1 October 2016

Reds Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom spoke to the media following today's 2-1 defeat to Yorkshire rivals Leeds United.

'Hecky' feels he saw “more positives than negatives” from his side’s overall performance. Goals from Kyle Bartley and Pablo Hernandez helped the Whites to a 2-1 victory, with Charlie Taylor’s own goal giving the Reds a deserved response on 70th minute.


He feels the side can learn a lot from their performance in the second half and take that forward after the international break.


He said: “The players are disappointed in there but my message to the players is that there are more positives than negatives from that performance.


“The two goals we conceded we’re really disappointed about but the way we played, especially as the game wore on, we’re really pleased with.


“I think the lads enjoyed how they played second half because it was a little reminder about what they are about and how they can pass the ball and the energy we can play with and how we can get on top of teams.


“It’s important that after the international break we carry that forward.”


The Head Coach praised the way in which Leeds defended, but highlighted that had the Whites not had a two-goal lead, things could have been very different.


“Credit to them, they defended excellently, we asked for more crosses in the box and as the game wore on, we did get more in there.


“We had five crosses first half and 15 second, that’s what we’re about. It’s a good number but they defended them well and got bodies behind the ball.


“They could afford to do that because they had a two goal lead which is a problem,” he added.


“They’ve been doing well of late and showing a lot of discipline, keeping clean sheets and getting bodies behind the ball and wait for you to make the mistake. We kept our patience really well first half and that’s why we’re gutted it was a set piece that cost us in the first half.


“The way they are playing at the minute is something that they’ve changed and they’ve been successful with it.


“They’re difficult to break down and when they get the lead, even more so. The way to do it is playing quick, dominating and winning the ball back as quickly as they can.”


Heckingbottom praised the partnership of Adam Armstrong and Sam Winnall and feels that the duo will get stronger over the course of the season. He also felt that the squad as a whole shaded the first half and fashioned more chances, but the second goal was a sucker punch to the Reds.


“They were quiet first half but they worked their socks off, just as all our forwards do and it’s been a pattern of our season that the forwards that have started have put the legwork in and the subs have come on and capitalised,” he added.


“Both teams gave everything, it was a cagey first half which was a tactical element of it, they were waiting for us to make an error, we were trying to be patient. I thought we had the better of the opportunities until the goal and then the second half it opened up a bit.


“I’ve just been told there was a suspicion of offside for the second goal but I’ve not seen it myself, I was more wary of our defenders and their positions.”


After the first 11 games, the Reds have accumulated 16 points and sit in the top half of the Championship table.


‘Hecky’ is impressed with how his side have performed in the early stages and feels that there is plenty more to come after the international break.


“I’ve just said to the players we’ve got 16 points from the first 11 games is and we’d have snapped someone’s hand off for that.


“We’re about getting better so now it’s about taking more than 16 from the next 11.


“We’ll work hard at the start of next week, have a couple of good days and then they’ll have a break just like they did last international break, and then we start again,” he said.


Watch the full interview with Paul Heckingbottom over on Barnsley Player HD.


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