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Hecky: "We're really looking forward to it!"

19 January 2017

The Reds Head Coach spoke to the assembled media at Oakwell today ahead of Saturday's big Yorkshire Derby..

Reds Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom feels this weekend’s clash with Leeds United is the perfect opportunity for his side to put their shock FA Cup exit to Blackpool behind them.


Heckingbottom feels that under the lights at Oakwell and with the Sky cameras focused on the Reds, this will be the sort of occasion that drives the players on that extra yard. He also gave an update on the health of Marc Roberts who had to be withdrawn in the first-half of Tuesday night's game.


“We’re obviously assessing him" he explained. "We brought him off early, he says he could have carried on but we’re hopeful he’s fit for Saturday. We don’t want to take chances, if one of our centre-halves is injured, we only have two recognised centre-halves left so it was precautionary, but he’s adamant he could have played on.


“It’s something we think we can manage, he’s had a scan. It’ll take longer to get him 100% but the other option is pulling him out altogether.

 

“Regards the game the other night, I feel better today. I was disappointed because I wanted a cup run, but there’s no better game here than Leeds in front of the cameras to put it out of our mind."


The Reds Gaffer added to his squad yesterday with the arrival of Everton youngster Gethin Jones who has signed on loan until the end of the season. 

 

“With ‘Yids’ [Andy Yiadom] away we’re light in the full-back area, we said we’ve been looking for a full-back so predominantly we’ve brought him in for that role but he’s played in other positions as well.


“He’s very much the type of player we have recruited in the past, he’s athletic, he’s hungry, an attack-minded full-back so hopefully he’ll fit into what we’re trying to do."


Hecky remains confident that further new signings will arrive but noted that in football it's notoriously difficult to have any real certainty regards signings until they are over the line. 

 

He said: “I’m hopeful that more will arrive, but it’s pointless even talking about it because we’ve been close before and things haven’t happened so until it does, I’ll keep my fingers crossed.


“It’s not like we’re waiting for the same ones all the time but it’ll be the same as the summer where it will get even more frantic and there's a chance some might go right to the wire. You're relying on other clubs to some degree, then you've agents and of course the players themselves to deal with.


“We’ve lost a full-back to the African Cup of Nations, we’ve lost a midfielder back to Wigan and then Winnall to Sheffield Wednesday, so we need another midfielder and a striker for definite.


“We’re trying to get them in but it’s not only us looking for players everyone’s waiting for that little thing to fall into place but we have to be in it and confident we can bring the players in.


“We need someone to come in and hit the ground running but we’re always looking for those players who can make us some money in the future or that we see potential in. The attributes that if we work with them, they can get in our side and get the club some money in the future."


There have been rumours galore when it comes to the futures of players in Heckingbottom's squad but the Gaffer believes most of it is 'talk' and that until the Club actually receives an offer that is deemed appropriate, then there's nothing that needs reporting.


“Nothing has changed, just lots and lots of speculation. I’ve just been filled in on some of the social media rumours but nothing has changed. I don't hear about any negativity or anything like that because I don't do social media myself. I learn a lot through what you lot say to be fair.


“I can’t say that more players haven't been mentioned, so people are talking I can’t deny that, but the Club will only deal with anything when it becomes official, apart from that it is just pure speculation."


The Head Coach finished by making it clear how excited he is for the match on Saturday and spoke of how vital it is that the supporters urge the players on in their usual vociferous manner.


"It's a big one isn't it?" he said. "It was always 'the' big one for me personally when I was a supporter myself, Leeds at Oakwell. I'm sure the Ponty End will be full and they'll obviously sell out the away end. To lots of Barnsley fans it's the biggest derby game. Two teams in the top half of the Championship adds that little bit extra. 


"The adrenaline and the atmosphere should be good, I'm sure the fans will be up for it, and yeah we're really looking forward to it."


You can watch the full interview from Paul Heckingbottom's press conference over on Barnsley Player HD.


Tickets for the Yorkshire Derby are still available, CLICK HERE for more details. 


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