Barnsley can bounce back from frustrating defeat, says boss Heckingbottom

Barnsley v Southend United
SkyBet League One
Sam Winnall rues a missed opportunity
Picture Dean Atkins
Barnsley v Southend United SkyBet League One Sam Winnall rues a missed opportunity Picture Dean Atkins
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Barnsley caretaker boss Paul Heckingbottom is confident his side can bounce back quickly from Saturday’s frustrating defeat to Southend United.

The Reds were beaten 2-0 at Oakwell and slipped out of the play-off positions, having staged a remarkable run to turn their season around.

And the boss believes the race for a coveted play-off place could go right to the last weekend of the season.

“The law of averages says that sometimes things aren’t going to go your way – and that was the case on Saturday,” said Heckingbottom.

“It’s just got even tighter now because teams above us have drawn and a few won as well.

“But what matters is where we are when we come to the first weekend in May.

“And I’m sure there’s five or six teams all uncertain of their future come that point.

“Just because we were in sixth place, well the mindset should be no different than if we were in seventh. Why should it be? Nothing changes. Come the last game of the season we’ll be better for the defeat.

“We’ve had one bad result, but it’s a not a big job to lift the players.”

Southampton loan winger Lloyd Isgrove missed out against the Shrimpers with illness, but he is likely to be fit enough to return in time for Saturday’s away clash with Fleetwood Town.

And leading scorer Sam Winnall could return, having surprisingly only be used as a second half substitute in last weekend’s defeat.

“If we were losing lots of games then fair enough, but the application of the players has been excellent and we’ll look to put things right against Fleetwood,” added Heckingbottom.

“I’ve heard all the stats that we were the third best form team in Europe, which is nice and it generated loads of excitement and that’s what we want.

“But we have to be focused now. There’s a hell of a lot to play for. It could be one of the most exciting seasons in the club’s history.”