Barnsley facing a different challenge next season says boss Paul Heckingbottom

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom
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Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom insists his side will need to harness new challenges next season.

After their dramatic play-off promotion from the doldrums of a relegation fight, last season the Reds have put up a respectable fight in the Championship this term.

At one stage a late surge towards the play-off spots looked on the cards.

And despite falling away in recent weeks, the club will be content with a reasonable mid-table finish - bearing in mind the sole aim for this season was to avoid dropping back into League One.

However, the Reds will be a known commodity next season and that element of surprise will not be there.

“I think the players get something from the fact that they’re in this league for the first time,” admitted Heckingbottom.

“That’s something that we won’t have next season, so we’ll have to find other ways. That will be another dynamic for us next season because the adrenaline and the enthusiasm won’t get us through it.”

Heckingbottom’s charges have more than proved they are good enough at this standard.

That was further shown when trio Sam Winnall, Conor Hourihane and James Bree secured big-money moves to higher-profile Championship clubs in January.

The likes of Josh Scowen and Marc Roberts have shown their undoubted class with consistent high-level performances as well this term.

And the former Barnsley defender is hopeful some of his players can make a further step up and become the best players in their respective positions in the league.

He added: “Hopefully next season we’ll have some players that are considered established Championship players.

“They will have a different challenge, and that will be how do they become the best centre back or the best central midfielder in this league. It’s one thing to get to a certain level, it’s another to maintain it.”