Paul Heckingbottom gave his thoughts on the upcoming Brentford match at Oakwell.
The Reds Head Coach discussed similarities between his side and the Bees, in terms of being able to compete within their means, at a higher level than what may be expected amongst the public.
Dean Smith’s side come to Oakwell in fantastic form and will prove a tough opponent for Heckingbottom’s Barnsley. The similarities between the Clubs will show on an age basis, as the two youngest Sky Bet Championship squads will enter the pitch.
“Brentford go about their business a totally different way to us, because lots of players we have sold over the years have come through our academy. Brentford scrapped their academy and focus on their development group, recruiting straight into that. It’s two totally different ways of doing it, but it’s all about players in your first team. At the minute we don’t have players who have come through our academy, so that makes us similar to Brentford in that sense because it is young players that we have recruited to try and make a Championship team, so that’s where the similarities are.
“This has been their approach for a few years and they’ve been going down this route, so they have evolved it for five or six years really. Dean has got a really good side there and the way they want to play, they have a good shape now for a few years.”
Heckingbottom was asked whether people were still surprised that both Barnsley and Brentford and doing so well, considering the budgets they work with compared to others.
“Yeah, but you have to have a plan. They’ve got a clear plan and how they want to do it which like I said, differs from ours drastically in one way but the goal is exactly the same. They are getting it right and credit to them.”
When the two teams met each other earlier in the season, the Reds ended Brentford’s superb home form by taking the three points away from Griffin Park following a 2-0 success.
“You can see how hard this league is, we went down there and beat them when their home record was unbelievable. Then, they have a baron run and get dragged down, now they are on the back of a really good run again and that’s how it is, there is only the teams at the very top who aren’t losing games on the spin and being really consistent. Everyone else is having tough patches because that is what the league is like, then purple patches where they go on a run and think they can get promoted!
"They’re a really good side, we saw that when we were down there. They still had chances against us and we played well that day with and without the ball, but so did they. You will speak to some people and they will say, that Brentford are the best team we’ve played because on their day, they can be really, really good. Credit to them, it’s going to be a battle. They’ve got the added freedom of knowing they’re safe, which will benefit their style of football and the manner in which they play, so we know it’ll be a really tough game."
With the season approaching a conclusion and recruitment being a major talking point, Hecky was then asked if the Club will look to promote players from the academy into the first team squad.
“Yes, you’d hope so. There are lots of different ways of doing that and we have given a couple of debuts this season, one was against Brentford for Jacob Brown. Josh Kay started here against Bristol City and Callum Evans against Wolves. It’s been a case of this is how we play, these are your roles and responsibilities and each of those players played in their correct position. We have got the 23s playing exactly the same way as us, because if I know I have seen them perform that role then he comes in because I know he can do it and that’s what wins you points, wins you games.”
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