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Interviews

Paul Heckingbottom on Wednesday draw

29 October 2017

The Reds Head Coach gave his reaction to yesterday's 1-1 draw at Hillsborough.

It was a share of the spoils for Barnsley in the early kick off against Sheffield Wednesday, thanks to a terrific second half fight back from the Reds who'd gone behind in the first half after a bizarre strike by the home side. 

The Gaffer told us that considering the start to the game, he had to feel satisfied with earning another point on the road.

"I always want three points," he said. "But I think we have to take the point out of it in the end, especially after the start we made. We started out on the back foot, and the individuals know, they weren't carrying out their instructions, they weren't doing what we told them to do to make things easier for themselves and that's what happens when you're playing against good sides. So I'm not taking anything away from Wednesday, but we all know ourselves that it was our own doing really in the first half."

However, Heckingbottom followed that up by praising his players for their desire and effort to turn the game around against one of the division's stronger outfits who have only lost one game this season on home soil.

As he explained: "The real plus side, the positives we take are the fact it then takes a lot to turn that around. The determination, the running power and the willingness to put their body on the line is what got us back into the game. Because like I say, there were lots of things wrong but we turned it around.

"If every little thing is last minute - the blocks, clearances and tackles, it's because you're striggling, you're on the ropes. Invariably it's because someone has made an error, whether they're not switched on, they're the wrong side or not tracking a runner, things like that.

"But we turned it. And from then on, we more than matched them I felt. There were lots of things we did right too, and it's those things we'll focus on and build on and hopefully improve."

The goal that Wednesday scored to take a deserved lead was one of questionable quality, with Adam Reach somehow scoring despite kicking the ball against his standing foot. 

Hecky admits the Reds were unlucky to concede like that but believes the Owls had earned that slice of fortune. 

"In fairness to Wednesday, Adam Davies made a great save from Tom Lees from a great cross at the far post. They were on the front foot, but to go behind like we did to a moment of luck you sometimes think it's not going to be your day. But to turn the momentum around like we did shows a lot about the character of our players and the willingness to give everything, so we have to take a lot of credit for that today."

Once again, the Reds lined up in the 4-4-2 system with Mamadou Thiam given his first start for the club, but Paul admitted that at half time something had to give if the tide was to turn at Hillsborough.

"We've been working on it a lot," he said, referring to the shape. "But we got loads of stuff wrong in it. I felt we only looked a threat in the first half on the break, with fast counters. But when we countered, they countered us back. When we lost possession, we were wide open. 

"Second half, we've a squad of players who suit that shape (4-3-3) better right now. It gives us more license to get players into the box and we were much better all round."

Harvey Barnes' stunning equaliser was the one true moment of quality in yesterday's derby encounter, and the Gaffer talked afterwards about that and, the full length goal celebration..

"We had to keep Joe Williams with us in their half because all the rest have run back to celebrate and by law, Wednesday could have kicked off! I think there was only really Adam Davies who realised that on the pitch, everyone looking at him as he was shouting at them, but no, it was a great goal from Harvey.

"We know he can do that. We're trying to add other bits to his game, in terms of left-foot finishes, finishing from crosses, and I know he wants to do that, to improve his game, so there's much more to come from him."

Hecky finished by talking about the development of his squad of players and about how they are improving as the season progresses. 

He said: "We're learning about them all the time, every day is a chance to learn. And that's one of the enjoyable things, but also hard, is having a completely new group. I wish I knew them all inside out already, but I don't.

"But with every day and every game we are learning, they're improving and hopefully we can keep getting better as the season goes on."

You can see the full interview with Paul Heckingbottom over on iFollow.


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