Barnsley: Heckingbottom’s delight as Reds roll with the punches

Conor Hourihane
Conor Hourihane
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Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom is delighted his depleted squad are still picking up points.

The Reds have grabbed four points from their previously two fixtures despite a growing injury list and Josh Scowen’s suspension - as well as having Conor Hourihane missing from last week’s draw to Bristol City.

But Heckingbottom understands it is the nature of the game and he has to take the rough with the smooth.

“The most pleasing thing for me is we’ve just picked up four points despite having the worst availability for some time,” revealed Heckingbottom. “We did it as well last season and it’s pleasing for us because it reflects well on the mentality of the players.

“It means a lot to me things like that.

“It’s part and parcel of football and if we weren’t getting injuries I’d be wondering whether we were working them hard enough.

“Sometimes they’re soft muscle injuries and sometimes they’re much worse like Sessi D’Almeida, but we just have to deal with it.

“On the plus side we’re giving players opportunities that they wouldn’t necessarily get if players weren’t out injured.”

Centre-back Marc Roberts is back running outside but is still a couple of weeks off full match fitness.

Barnsley travel to Burton tomorrow, who have won just twice in their last 10 Championship fixtures - and have never before beaten the Reds.

Despite their recent run of poor form, Heckingbottom is adamant his side cannot afford to take the Brewers lightly.

“It’ll be another tough game,” added Heckingbottom. “Clubs have gone there and struggled so we can’t rest on our laurels.

“We’ve been down there before so we know what it’s all about and we won’t do that [take them lightly].

“I don’t think it’ll be too dissimilar to the game there last year. Then it was two teams flying and playing really positively. It was a real war of attrition if you like, high intensity, really hard work.

“They’ve changed their shape to suit the players they’ve got this season and that’s what you’ve got to do, you’ve got to adapt.

“They’re a good side and they’ve brought in some experienced players there.

“A lot of their players have played at this level and have a lot of games under their belts.”