Barnsley: Heckingbottom relishing chance to earn Reds job permanently

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom
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Barnsley caretaker head coach Paul Heckingbottom would love to earn the job on a permanent basis.

Heckingbottom was put in charge of the Reds when Lee Johnson left to take over at Bristol City.

And with chief executive Ben Mansford having revealed that the club are in no rush to appoint a permanent successor, former Barnsley player Heckingbottom has a chance to prove his worth.

“It would be nice,” revealed Heckingbottom. “I’ll keep doing it for as long as I’m asked. I’ll keep working, keep giving my best and keep working with the players, so not much has changed.

“In terms of work ethic, well that’s not going to change from the way I’ve always been. I’ll always give everything.

“I’d love to do it. I’m a Barnsley boy, season ticket holder and turned clubs down to play here.

“And I turned down coaching jobs to coach here, so of course I would. I love the club.

“I’m going to enjoy it for as long as I’m doing it. I’m going to enjoy this experience for as long as it lasts.

“It’s always about the players. Nothing has changed. They’ll get our backing and we expect 100 per cent commitment from them.

“The results are down to the players and their application on the pitch.

“There’s a big challenge ahead, but that’s what everybody wants.”

It’s been a whirlwind week at Oakwell with former head coach Lee Johnson having left the club to puruse a three-and-a-half year contract to manage the Championship Robins, one of his former teams.

But the Reds quickly showed there’s life after Johnson with a thumping 3-0 win over Bury last Sunday to stay five points off the play-off places.

The Reds face fourth placed Gillingham tomorrow as they look to win eight league games in a row for the first time in nearly 61 years.

“It’s been pretty quick, but it’s been really enjoyable because everything has gone well so far,” reflected Heckingbottom.

“Me and Tommy [Wright] have been working with the players all year, so hopefully there’s not been too much change and it’s been a seamless transition.

“We want to keep that same winning mentality against Bury last weekend and were conscious we didn’t want a dip in standards having got to Wembley.

“Looking back at the manner of the performance, well it was really pleasing.

“I’ve not had time to think about it to be honest, everything has happened so quick and we’ve just had to get on with things.

“We’re trying to keep things rolling as smoothly as possible.

“My mindset is just to keep going and I’m not looking any further than the next game. There’s no point complicating things.”