Reds Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom addressed the media ahead of the big Yorkshire derby against Leeds United this weekend.
Hecky spoke of team news ahead of the match on the fitness of the squad, also stating how important the substitutions have been to the side.
“No fresh injuries, so we’ll be going in with a similar squad off the back of a really pleasing performance. Even more delighted that we got the point obviously (against Aston Villa), but the performance was good.
“It’s important to have options, it’s a nice thing to have. When you’re bringing the likes of Sam Winnall, Adam Armstrong and Adam Hammill off the bench, it’s terrific. We’ve showed in the past in all the games that the subs have had a massive impact and long may that continue. We try and work hard on the message that it’s not all about the eleven it’s about the group.”
Sam Winnall’s 90th minute equaliser against Villa on Tuesday night stopped the Reds from suffering a third successive defeat, and Heckingbottom feels the players put right some wrongs from the defeat to Brighton.
“In terms of what was missing from the game at Brighton, it was all there on Tuesday night. It was a really good game and both teams had spells of pressure and it was just counter attack after counter attack. It was a really high tempo game.
“I don’t want to ever take anything away from who you’re playing, sometimes you can defend yourself as a team and say you’re up against good opposition which we were at Brighton, but we knew we had some things missing from our game and performance, which we showed on Tuesday night.”
The Reds have had an excellent start to the season and Hecky feels spoke of the reasons behind the success so far, especially after securing the last minute point against Aston Villa on Tuesday night.
“You always want a result that’s what the game is about. You win at all costs, that’s your job, to go and win. The more you can get the performances right the more likely you are to get that win, so we focus on the performance. Regardless of the last minute goal by Sam (Winnall), we were delighted with our performance and pleased we got back some energy, with lots of tempo and aggression. That’s how we play, which hasn’t been missing, it was just missing for one game which is a big part of us and what we’re about.”
This weekend will see the Reds travel to Elland Road for a massive Yorkshire derby. The Reds Head Coach wants to see a packed out stadium, and a fantastic atmosphere for what will be a memorable match.
“We’ve been watching them and they’ve really tightened up. They’ve been difficult to score against of late and have got some good results off the back of that. Regardless of how they’re playing it’s a derby. They’ll have a few fans there and hopefully we’ll sell our full allocation so it should be a real good atmosphere and a real good occasion, a good game of Championship football.
Being a Barnsley fan himself, Heckingbottom knows exactly what matches like this mean to the fans. He spoke of how he can’t get carried away with emotion, but will certainly be letting the players know of what the fans expect from them.
One reporter mentioned the fact that Barnsley fans have looked forward to this fixture more than any other.
Hecky stated, “A lot of people say Wednesday, some will say United, but me growing up personally it was Leeds simply because I’m from Royston which is the Wakefield side of Barnsley, and if you’re from there you’re either a Leeds or Barnsley fan. That’s what it’s about, I try and remember all of that because that’s what people are coming to the game for, that’s what they want to see. It’s how they feel after the game, win or lose. My job for me personally is to put that into perspective, it’s not all about the emotion when I’m making my decisions but I do enjoy that side of the game that there is some other meaning. As a squad, we can't wait for kick-off.”
Watch the interview with Paul Heckingbottom over on Barnsley Player HD.
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