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Paul Heckingbottom's thoughts ahead of Reading clash

29 December 2017

The Reds face the Royals this Saturday and the Barnsley Gaffer is hoping to finally get three points on the board.

At his pre-match press conference, Hecky first discussed the little knocks that some players are carrying whilst also reflecting on the Boxing Day stalemate against Preston. 

He updated us on the injury that Liam Lindsay sustained late in the game and revealed that Brad Potts is back in training after being ill for the last few games.

He told us: "We have to monitor Lloyd Isgrove, with his knee. We don't want that to catch us out again because he's a big player for us. Whilst the other wingers, Adam Hammill, Harvey Barnes and Ryan Hedges have all performed well at times, Lloyd's a very different kind of option for us out wide. Whilst they might press and run the lines for us, with Lloyd he can get a head on the end of it or put in a big tackle. He's a real livewire and adds something extra.

"Liam Lindsay took a big whack on Tuesday so again, we've to be careful there but we think he should be alright, but other than that I think we're looking okay. 

"Brad Potts has been ill and we had to send him back home before the Fulham game. He's not been training with us the last few sessions, but he's been doing bits alone and he's back in training with us now so he'll be available too. But other than that, it's alright and we'll need as many bodies as possible with the fixtures continuing to come thick and fast."

The Gaffer against PNE

Despite an encouraging performance once more from the Reds on Tuesday afternoon, it was another game they failed to win and another game without a goal. 

Heckingbottom was pleased with certain parts of the game and commended the opposition's efforts too, but feels the Reds are just lacking that killer touch in the final third.

"I was pleased with lots of our play in the game," he explained.

"But it's the final bit, the hardest bit that we are struggling with at present, and that's putting the ball in the back of the net.

"I felt both teams cancelled each other out in the first half, it was tough and a real battle. And credit to Preston because I think their good play thwarted us, rather than our own mistakes. 

"I thought we got to grips with things much better in the second half and felt we were on top. We got stronger as the game wore on too, which is pleasing from a fitness perspective. But again we've not had that bit of quality or the luck if you like. But there were positive signs out there to take into Saturday against Reading."

Paul Heckingbottom

"Our performance at Reading lingers with me, definitely. I'm looking forward to Saturday. There's lessons from that first game which I know we can learn from and put right."

Hecky

It's not too long ago that Barnsley faced Reading, with the original date of the fixture getting pushed back due to our involvement in the Carabao Cup. 

That was a night to forget for the Reds with the hosts taking all three points with a 3-0 win at the Madejski Stadium, and Hecky is clear that there are lessons from that match to take into this one at Oakwell.

He said: "Reading won a lot of games by a single goal last year, that was one of their strong points, nicking the wins like that. And I've seen a lot of them this season and they don't do anything any differently, but they've not been getting the same rub of the green. 

"I saw them against Bristol the other day and they were arguably the better side but still lost. So it's not going for them this season. 

"Our performance at Reading lingers with me, definitely. I'm looking forward to Saturday. There's lessons from that first game which I know we can learn from and put right. We gifted them all the goals for starters, and we've corrected that of late. Less mistakes. It's about finding that ruthlessness at the other end now."

You can see Paul Heckingbottom's full pre-match press conference video in full over on iFollow.


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