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Hecky: "This One Is For The Fans!"

14 February 2017

Reds boss praises the travelling fans for spurring the team to a well-deserved victory against Aston Villa.

Barnsley Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom felt that the Reds fed off the energy and passion shown by the fans in this evening’s 3-1 victory against Aston Villa.

A brace for Tom Bradshaw and a penalty for Adam Armstrong helped the Reds up to ninth in the Championship table and they remain six points outside the play-off places.

Hecky’ praised the fans for getting behind the Reds for the full 90 minutes and added that the players loved playing given the atmosphere they helped to create this evening at Villa Park.

He said: “They enjoyed it and the players enjoyed it as well, you’ve got to feed off each other and the fans know and appreciate how hard the players work.

“They’re proud of the team and how they try and play and the effort and energy that they give whether we win or lose. 

“It’s important those sorts of things because then the players can see that we get the win, we get the three points and some praise off me, we’ll go through it for the next game, but they can see what it means to everybody else when they put the effort in like that.”

The Reds were made to work for the victory, with the hosts fashioning a number of chances, some that they blazed high or wide, with the rest brilliantly saved by Adam Davies.

The Head Coach gave his assessment of the game, saying he was both “impressed and pleased” with the way his side applied themselves.

“I always say we have to be able to play lots of different ways to win and I thought we showed it all in one game tonight.

“We were under pressure a lot first half but defended our box again realty well, just like on Saturday, we were a threat on the counter and when we were brave enough to take the ball and pass it properly, we were a threat that way as well.

“But even though we went 2-0 up and Villa scored a good goal, I felt we weren’t really good enough with the ball and we had to play with less fear and be braver, have everyone take the ball more, and without the ball we had to be better in how we pressed.

“Although we defended really well, in the first half we didn’t impose or press on their men. Second half we did that much better and the second half was a really good performance.

“We know we take risks and we know we’re sometimes going to leave ourselves open, we accept that, we’ve got our heads around that and we know that when we do play that way, a team has got to play really well to beat us.," he added.

Tom Bradshaw took his tally for the season to seven goals with his first Reds brace and the Head Coach praised the contribution of the striker, especially to score in front of some of his family members, who happen to be Villa fans.

“I think he was looking for them, his Uncle’s a Villa fan so he was looking for him to celebrate,” he quipped.

“His goals were instinctive, he didn’t have time to think about the finish and he’s scored a lot of good goals that way. Not only with us, but in his time with Walsall as well and that is a real strength of his."

George Moncur also starred for the Reds in central midfield in place of the injured Josh Scowen, and ‘Hecky’ was keen to heap praise on the midfielder for his efforts.

“He did well, he even got time to wink at me on 80 minutes when he’s in the wrong place when we’ve got a corner and I’m screaming my head off at him. He’s come back and he wants to show what he can do and earn his place in the team. We give him a hell of a lot of attention and information but you have to be able to take it in.

“For the majority of the game, his work without the ball, which is what we’ve questioned him before and pushed him on, was really good, but we need to continue to push them on every detail."

Watch Paul Heckingbottom's post match reaction now on Barnsley Player HD!

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