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Hecky: "I'm excited for next season."

7 May 2017

The Reds Head Coach addressed the media following a 14th placed Championship finish from his side.

Paul Heckingbottom praised Barnsley's team spirit throughout the course of the season, despite slipping to a 3-0 defeat to Newcastle United this afternoon.

Goals from Ayoze Perez, Chancel Mbemba and Dwight Gayle helped the Magpies to victory over the Reds, who ended the season in 14th position in the table.

Heckingbottom feels it is testament to the players that they managed to comfortably survive this season and added that the coaching staff and squad have gone above and beyond the season.

He said: "We speak a lot as a group and one thing the players have done is given the staff a big round of applause for the efforts they've put in because you look round at Newcastle's staff and at our staff, we beg, steal and borrow equipment, we work our socks off in terms of time and the effort and support we give the players.

"The players know that so for a group of first team staff, they're overachieving as much as the players and the players wouldn't be able to do it without the staff and that's part of what has been a successful season, not only the boys on the pitch but the people off it as well.

"We have to get everything right to come to Newcastle and win and have to play a perfect game and we didn't.

"You know you weren't going to be coming here at a tougher time because they have to give everything to win, if we had have scored in the first half we'd have been on top and they'd have been fighting tooth and nail to get back on top. No matter how well we played, we were going to have difficult moments in the game."

Reflecting on the game as a whole, the Head Coach felt they had chances to win the match and were competitive in the opening exchanges, but added that the quality of the hosts was the deciding factor in the overall outcome.

"We had a really good start, the first 20 minutes were pleasing and during that time I'm thinking we can hurt them with this and that, we were good up until the final third but after the goal, they got on top down the right, that's where all the chances were coming from.

"We still had possession but we didn't cause them any problems, we didn't have enough deliveries into the box, second half they were the better team, the big difference was the quality in the final third, it was immense today, our work rate, organisation and application from the players was good but there was a massive gulf in quality in the final third.

"Having said that, the second and third goals are shocking on our behalf so while you can keep it at 1-0 you're always in with a shout and I said to the players we have to beat teams like this, we can't turn up thinking it's a tough game everyone is expecting us to get beaten and the way to do it is to be tight at one end and clinical at the other."

"It was tough to watch that today and once we fell behind we knew it was going to be difficult. We got into some good positions second half on the counter, the decision of when to pass and quality of the pass was what was missing and towards the end we did get chances and didn't take them. At 2-1, you know you can push and we'd have had nothing to lose but they were the better side today," he added.

Looking ahead to next season, there will be some personnel changes with players out of contract and the Reds loanees returning to their parent clubs, leaving the Head Caoch with another busy summer of recruitment ahead.

He would like to get as many players through the door as quickly as possible to ensure the Reds have the best chance of starting next season with a stable core group of players.

He assessed: "I'm speaking to them in there and I'm looking and thinking five of them are loans and are going back and we have others out of contract so you're speaking to them because it's them in their careers going forward, but the focus is on the boys that will be here next season.

"It's sad and it's another break up in the team but we start again and make another one. I'll speak to the players on Tuesday and then it's about getting as many good players through the door as we can. I'm excited for next season."

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