Barnsley: Heckingbottom’s call to Reds

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom
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Caretaker Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom is urging his side to stay switched on against Walsall in the second leg of their League One play-off semi-final tomorrow.

The Reds take a commanding 3-0 lead to the Banks’s Stadium after a scintillating showing at Oakwell on Saturday.

Heckingbottom’s men are closing in on a second appearance at Wembley, having won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in April.

But the 38-year-old has played down talk of another trip to the capital, and his focus remains on getting the job done in the West Midlands.

“There are a lot of people who think it’s all over,” said Heckingbottom. “They’re on about Wembley this, Wembley that. This is half-time; that’s it.

“We’ve scored three goals and conceded none in a game, and so can Walsall. We really have got a job to do and it’s about going about it in the right manner.

“They’re a wounded animal now so they’re going to come at us. They’re going to have a plan at some point to throw everything at us and we have to be able to cope with it.”

Heckingbottom did allow a brief mention of promotion and what it would mean to the club.

This is Barnsley’s second season in the third tier of English football, and the former Reds full-back has rubbished talk that it could be too soon for a return to the Championship.

Heckingbottom added: “You can’t turn it down, simple as that. All this ‘We’re a year too early’ really is a load of rubbish.

“You can’t look a gift horse in the mouth. You have to go and seize it and take every opportunity.”

The Reds have already begun planning for next season regardless of what division they are in, and have recruited Barnet captain Andy Yiadom on a free transfer.

The versatile 24-year-old can play full-back or on the wing, and Heckingbottom was pleased to get his man, having watched him in action on numerous occasions.

“He’s been someone who’s been on the club’s radar for a while now,” he added. “He’s someone who we think can add a lot to our squad.”

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