Barnsley: Places still up for grabs in Championship opener, challenges boss Heckingbottom

Andy Yiadom gets away from Anthony Knockaert and Glenn Murray. Photo by Glenn Ashley.
Andy Yiadom gets away from Anthony Knockaert and Glenn Murray. Photo by Glenn Ashley.
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Head coach Paul Heckingbottom insists places are still up for grabs for Barnsley’s Championship curtain-raiser against Bristol City.

The Reds kick off their second campaign back in the second tier at Ashton Gate on the opening day of the season, August 5.

Between now and then Heckingbottom’s players have two chances to forge their way into his plans for the trip down south.

The club travel across the Pennines to Rochdale tonight with a trip to rivals Rotherham United finishing their pre-season friendlies on Saturday. And Heckingbottom said: “Places are up for grabs yeah, they’re still up for grabs.

“We’ve got two more games. The team will change again and we’ll get more 90 minutes throughout the squad. The majority of the lads have had 90 minutes and the rest will get that at Rochdale.

“We’re judging performance now as well, not only improvement but performance. We’ve got to be picking the strongest possible team that we can.”

Despite constant speculation surrounding his future, Andy Yiadom has been one of the standout performers in pre-season.

And Swansea City have reportedly tabled an improved £3m offer for the player, pictured above.

The Premier League outfit and Barnsley were worlds apart in their respective valuations of the Ghanaian international earlier this summer.

The Swans, who lured centre-back Alfie Mawson away from Oakwell last summer in a £5m deal, were only willing to offer £750,000 back then - with the Reds wanting at least £2m to part with the player’s services.

Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town bid the same, with Heckingbottom labelling their approach for one of his biggest stars as “disrespectful”.

Heckingbottom also argued that despite Yiadom entering the final year of his current deal, with the club trying to tie him down to an extended contract, the club deserved a decent fee for making the right-back a Championship player.

And the powers that be at the Liberty Stadium have seemingly taken those words on board with an improved offer.