Barnsley: Let’s go on another run - Heckingbottom

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Stand-in Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom reckons his troops will rally round to start another run of results and continue their surge up the table.

The Reds’ terrific form since the turn of the year was brought to a halt by a well-drilled and confident Gillingham side at the Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.

But despite the disappointment of tasting league defeat for the first time since December, Heckingbottom is confident his side can get back to winning ways.

“From now until the end of the season we want to be on a good positive run and picking up points,” he declared.

“We’ve just had a run of consistent good performances and we want to keep that going.

“It’s a disappointed dressing room. We’re not used to that feeling so everyone is a bit flat but we’ve got a game next week so we jump straight back on the wagon, get a win and set off on another run.

“We have to make sure that Wembley [the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final] is not all we’re playing for.

“We have to treat every game the same with the same intensity.

“We did more than enough to get something out of the game against one of the best teams in the league.

“The lads know they’re good enough to do it.”

A key component in the remarkable unbeaten run was loan defender Kevin Long.

The Irishman played his last game for Barnsley against the Gills on Saturday, and now returns to parent club Burnley as the length of his loan has reached its maximum duration.

The Reds kept four clean sheets and looked more solid and stable in Long’s 11 league games at the heart of the defence.

But whilst Heckingbottom acknowledges the 25-year-old’s contribution, he believes there is more than enough quality in the squad to fill the gap.

“As much as we’re going to miss Longy it’s a good opportunity for someone to step up and get their place in the team,” he said.

“We’ve got three good centre-backs at the club – Alfie [Mawson], Robbo [Marc Roberts] and Lewin [Nyatanga] - and any two out of them three are enough to do really well in this league.”