Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom met with the media this morning for his pre-match press conference and was delighted to be back doing what he loves.
The Gaffer had a simple message for the recent additions to the first team squad.
“The players already here work their socks off for each other, it’s as simple as that, and the sooner the new lads get involved with that, start adding to that, the better for them and for the team. We feel we’ve done good business though.
"We've got Adam Armstrong in who is a proven goalscorer, a natural finisher and he has that speed to get in between defenders. We've real competition up front now. In terms of Saidy Janko and Sam Morsy, both have them should be here later today after travelling with their national teams. We think Saidy has that pace and aggression we like out wide. He can play right-back but we see him as a winger. He has great pedigree, as does Morsy. Both have them could be in the squad this weekend, they're both fit and ready to play."
‘Hecky’ felt it was a great time for a break as it’s enabled the players to recuperate and for the club to get assessments on one or two players who have been missing through injury recently.
“We’ve had the results back for Stefan Payne’s injury, that’s a fracture and a straight-forward one but he’s going to be out for 8, 10, 12 weeks, whatever it may be which is unfortunate for him but he has to work hard and come back stronger. He’ll still get the same level of support and effort from us as a club and will need to be working hard in the gym so that when he returns he can hit the ground running.
“Ryan Williams is back in training now, he’s been working with the Under 23s. I’ve had a good chat with him and he understands that I’m putting no pressure on him but likewise he has to know that until he’s fit enough and ready, training every day and getting some games down the line with the 23s, he’s out of our mind at the moment.”
There’s been some rumours regarding the reasons behind the loan departure of George Moncur who headed down to Peterborough with even the suggestion that there had been a fall-out. But the Reds Head Coach laughed that off.
“There’s nothing at all in that. His dad came up last week and his family were concerned that he wasn’t playing. My argument was that the team’s doing great and you’ve to earn your way into the team. But they wanted him to go out and play on loan, I didn’t, but it was then put to the club because they might see it as a way of recouping some money and then bringing someone in who will play, and that’s what we ended up doing.
“It’s that simple really. I’m disappointed because I feel he should be here and fighting for a place but I also understand that as a footballer he wants to play games and in fact it’s encouraging that he does. Hopefully he goes there and plays 90 minutes every week, Saturday and Tuesday and when he comes back in January he’s ready for us and getting into our first team.”
The transfer window has closed, the international break is over and Heckingbottom is glad to be able to fully focus on the parts of the job that he loves.
“I’m absolutely delighted with the group we’ve got, the window has shut and we can get back to working with the players on the training pitch which is what we love. There’s real competition for places now and that allows us to freshen things up, mix things up when needed which means we can keep up that high-energy and intensity which is a big part of our game.”
Next up is this Saturday’s trip to Preston North End as the Reds look to pick up their first points on the road this season, and the Gaffer is under no illusions as to the task ahead for his side.
“It’s another tough fixture and it’ll be highly competitive, we all know that. It might be similar to the Rotherham game here actually. There’s likely to be a lot of cut and thrust initially, fighting for first and second balls and then it’s about who can get on and dictate with the ball. I know Preston have added a few players themselves recently so that might give them an opportunity to tweak things or change shape. It’s going to be another difficult game but then, they all are. We treat each game the same be it home or away. It makes no difference, not until they start giving us five points for an away win or whatever!
“Being third in the table at this stage is great, but it’s where you are at the end that counts. The pleasing thing for us is that we’ve won three out of five games. We’ve been scoring a lot of goals and playing well with it, which is massive too. Because the players now know that if they perform like that, if they play well and do things properly they can affect this league.”
You can watch the full interview with ‘Hecky’ exclusively on Barnsley Player HD.
And don’t forget that tickets for this weekend’s game are available HERE