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Hecky: "They will be in for a tough game."

13 February 2017

Reds Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom spoke to the media this morning ahead of Tuesday nights trip to Villa Park.

Hecky gave an update on the fitness of his squad following the 0-0 draw with Saturday at the weekend, which saw Josh Scowen leave the pitch with an injury.

On Scowen, Hecky said, “He’s still sore. We’re waiting to see the extent of it today, but if Scowy has got to come off you know he is hurt. We tried to patch him up at half-time but the first action he had to, sprinting back, we knew then straight away he had to come off. Hopefully it isn’t too bad, it didn’t look terrible but you can say that and it could be big damage.

“There are no new injury concerns other than that. I’m expecting Adam Jackson back from illness as well.”

George Moncur replaced Scowen at the weekend and looks set to continue at the heart of the Reds midfield away at Villa on Tuesday night.

“It’s an opportunity for other players. We’ve had it before with injuries, suspensions and players leaving the Club, people have to step up and perform.

“We work with all the players and they all know their roles so that if things do arise like Saturday with Scowy going off, George (Moncur) had done all the work and knew what was expected of him. 

“It was George’s choice to come back, fight, and get in the team. He could have stayed at Peterborough, but he wanted to come back and fight for his place with us. He’s been good and working really hard, we got a couple of games into him with the U23s which has made it easier for him now he as to play.”

The 0-0 draw at Reading was greeted in a positive fashion with The Royals flying high in the league, but Hecky felt that his side could quite easily have come away with all three points on another day with the amount of clear cut chances created, despite the opposition claiming that the Reds had set up for the draw.

“I thought we had the better chances. Every team plays different ways, has different strengths and different types of players. What you have to do is try and win the game, look at our goal record for and against, we’re not a defensive team, we can’t be. The players we’ve got and the ones we pick we can’t possibly be a defensive team but we expect hard work, and the organisation we worked on I thought the boys were exceptional at that.

“Reading might have had more chance themselves if they had played more forward passes, which is something we try to do and be positive and not scared to lose the ball because we will just go and get it back. 

“You always want to win, but when I am looking back and we speak to the players about it, it’s always about the performance really. Why didn’t we win? It was the final ball, the end product. One shot on target plus hitting the post isn’t enough. We were in some great positions either from counter attacks or good play.”

With another tough away tie on the horizon away at Aston Villa who have only lost at home once all season, Heckingbottom is looking forward to matching up against a team he considers to be one of the strongest in the division.

“We’re always trying to improve every game, and every performance. Villa can change what they do in any instant, I watched them quite a bit at the start of the season where they weren’t necessarily getting results but lots of draws that could have been wins. Now they’ve reinvested and brought even more players in. 

“They could be playing terribly but they have the players to score a goal out of nothing and that’s how they’re picking up points. The results haven’t come of late for them but they still have the same calibre of player, so no matter how well we play they have match winners who could score at any moment so it’s going to be a tough game. We keep surprising the big teams though, they'll be in for a game from us.”

Watch Paul Heckingbottom's press conference in full on Barnsley Player HD!

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