Barnsley: Paul Heckingbottom delighted as all four Reds’ strikers contribute to the Championship cause

Reds' Sam Winnall
Reds' Sam Winnall
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Paul Heckingbottom is delighted all of Barnsley’s strikers are contributing to the cause.

Predatory strikes from Adam Armstrong and Sam Winnall got the Reds back to winning ways on Saturday against Brentford at Griffin Park.

Last season’s star striker Winnall was a one man scoring machine, bagging an impressive 24 goals in all competitions – his best ever return in a season.

Since the club’s return to the Championship the foursome of Winnall (four), Armstrong (three), Marley Watkins (three) and Tom Bradshaw (two) have shared the load. And Heckingbottom said: “I’m delighted with all four of them.

“Whoever you pick out of those four you know exactly what you’re going to get from them. “They all have good pace, press well and have what we’re looking for in our strikers.

“They’ve all got different qualities but they’ll all pose a threat to the opponents, which is important.”

None of the four have taken the league by the scruff of the neck and gone on a scoring run yet. Heckingbottom admits he will always change the team to keep the players fresh but he has challenged his talented front men to make themselves un-droppable.

He added: “If one of them jumps out of the pack and is scoring week in week out then they become your go to striker. “We’re always going to change the team whether that’s before the game or during because we’re all about the pace and energy.

“With that being said, you wouldn’t be able to keep someone out if they kept on scoring.”

Despite ending a six-game wait for a win at the weekend, Heckingbottom feels the Reds’ honeymoon period is now over.

He said: “Teams are taking us more seriously now.”

“I don’t think we caught teams cold at the start, we were absolutely flying.

“Maybe it’s because teams underestimated us and they didn’t really know our players.

“But they know what we’re about now, they’re doing their homework on us.

“You can see it in the way teams are doubling up on our wide men to try and stop balls into the box for our strikers.

“And they’re setting up for the counter attack, which is fine. It’s the way it is.”

Barnsley legend Duncan Sharp sadly passed away late last week, aged 83.

The tough defender made over 200 appearances for the Oakwell club between 1953-61.

The centre-back was part of the side that lifted the Division Three North title in the 1954/55 season.