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Hecky: "We're looking forward to another big Yorkshire derby."

26 January 2017

Barnsley Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom spoke to the media ahead of trip to face Rotherham United this weekend.

The Reds are eighth in the Championship table and are just four points outside the play-off places.

Ahead of this weekend’s South Yorkshire derby against the Millers, Hecky feels the squad are in a good place and does not have many injury concerns to worry about.

Despite Rotherham's position in the table, he knows they do possess a threat and that the Reds must be wary of this.

He said, “Injury-wise we’re OK, there’s nothing new from the last game and we have Matty in so we’re looking OK.

“I thought we were really good on Saturday, there’s lots of things we were pleased with, little things we can get better at but I want to build and get more players in so we’ve got more options.

“We want to in the position where we can keep the energy levels up without weakening the team because I know we’ll have a good bench on Saturday.

“They’ve still been picking up some good results. We know they can be dangerous and they have shown that in lots of games.

“They may not have got the results but against Newcastle, that was a different game. Had they have got in front against Newcastle they would have had a chance of something to hold onto and pick up some points.

“We know their threats and that they’re working extremely hard, we know they’re playing for their new manager and it’s another Yorkshire derby.

“It’s going to be a good atmosphere, an energetic game with lots of quality and I hope we come out on top.”

Hecky urged the fans not to be down about being eighth in the division and that there is still plenty more to come from the Reds.

He said, “I’d rather be here dealing with this than in League One, it’s not even a comparison. Don’t sulk, don’t moan, we have to keep trying to get better and that’s it, if you give up, what’s the point.

“We’ll keep looking to get good players in, keep working as hard as we can and hopefully we can keep getting better performances.

“I honestly don’t feel the negativity,” he added. “I spoke on Radio Sheffield after last week’s game and I thought what and where is the negativity, what more do people want?

“They want seventh, sixth, fifth, fourth in the league, do they want that? I want it, but why would you be negative about being eighth?

“It’s part and parcel of where we are and what we are as a Football Club, we’re going to have to deal with this and that’s it.”

The Reds confirmed the signing of Matty James last night on a season-long loan from Premier League champions Leicester City.

Heckingbottom gave his reasoning for bringing in the central midfielder and what he expects him to bring to the side.

He said, “We’ve decided to bring him in because he’s a good player. We are thorough in what we do and when he was playing for Leicester, they played very similar to us in lots of ways in terms of his roles in central midfield, so it’s not foreign to him. I had a good chat with him on the phone before he came so he was clear in what we’d be asking from him and what we could give him in return.

“He thinks it’s going to be a really good opportunity for him to show himself at his best because he’s been frustrated with a lack of game time at Leicester this year.

“We’re really pleased that we’ve got him because there were lots of other clubs interested in him and he’s chosen us, which is a big boost for us.”

Full-back James Bree has departed the club for Aston Villa this week and left with the Club's best wishes.

Bree was a player that the Head Coach knew well having worked with him right through from Under 14 level up to the First Team. He gave his thoughts on Bree departing.

“I’d be disappointed when any player leaves, but my frame of mind is that I have to accept it, I can’t sulk or moan about it, you just have to be looking forwards.

“I will speak to James when he’s down there, just personally, nothing to do with football because I’ve known him a long time and wish him well.

“However, my mind had changed anyway and I was working hard to get Gethin [Jones] in. I think he’s going to be a really good player for us.

“I’d love to have another one but my priorities at the minute are a little bit different. If I can get through the season with Gethin, Andy Yiadom and Aidy White then fantastic. 

“I’d love to have two right-backs and two left-backs competing and being able to change a team but at the moment there’s other priorities,” he added.

This week it has also emerged that Marley Watkins has handed in a transfer request that the Club have rejected. The Head Coach explained the situation with Watkins.

“Marley has handed in a transfer request but it’s been knocked back and declined,” he said. “We want Marley to stay and Marley knows this.

“I’ve said this to every player, I don’t want to sell you and you’ll not be going anywhere and Marley’s no different, none of the players in there are any different.

“If money comes in from a club and the fee is big enough, that turns the owner’s head and from a business point of view if it makes sense, the club will look at it. The only thing that matters is if a bid comes in that’s accepted and until it does, get your head on the football and get working.

“I know the situation with the players very well and I have a professional relationship with them in terms of the football side of things but they know they can come to me and speak about anything.

“Some things remain private, some don’t, sometimes they need help with things, sometimes they need a kick up the backside and I know how certain individuals feel but what does a transfer request mean.

“They can come and tell me they want to go but my answer will always be the same regardless and the only thing that changes is the money between the two clubs.

“Marley has been fine, things come to the fore. Marley hands in a transfer request, it comes out but it’s something we have been talking about for a while. He probably feels it’s something he needs to let everyone know about but he felt the same way before the Leeds game and played fantastically well.”

According to some bookmakers, Heckingbottom has also been made the favourite for the Nottingham Forest job but was quick to rule himself out of the running.

“I get more hassle over that with my mates than I do for players leaving. That’s just more things to put up with.

“It’s a massive club but they’re in lots and lots of uncertainty at the minute and there’s been lots of people linked with it and they’ve all said the same, what would be the point of going there as it is as it is,” he said.

Tickets for the match at Rotherham United are SOLD OUT to Reds fans. You can listen to LIVE commentary of the match and enjoy a full-match replay on Barnsley Player HD!




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