Barnsley: We’ll always be a work in progress, says Heckingbottom

Aidy White is back in training for Barnsley. 
Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
Aidy White is back in training for Barnsley. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
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Head coach Paul Heckingbottom admits Barnsley will likely “always be a work in progress”.

The Reds have had a decent start to their first season back in the second tier of English football.

But their form has been inconsistent with a couple of good and bad spells.

That is likely down to the previous lack of experience in the squad at this level, but the club just simply cannot compete with the big hitters in the league in terms of spending on proven Championship quality.

“We know we can do it [play at this level], but it’s just a big, big jump up in class,” insisted Heckingbottom.

“We’re a work in progress and we will probably always be because we can’t buy ready- made players.

“A lot of other clubs have got players who have been used to this league before or they go out and buy players and pay them big wages because they know what they’re getting.

“We know we have to work with our players, get them better, get their mentality right so they understand they are as good as they want to be.

“We’ve got lots of talent in our dressing room but it’s not about looking good, it’s about being good.”

Aidy White returned to training last week, but Heckingbottom believes he will be on the sidelines for a little while longer yet.

The left-back has been out for nine weeks after an operation to fix a tear in his stomach.

Heckingbottom added: “The simple fact that he’s been out a lot longer than we thought means we’re going to have to extend his rehab programme before he’s considered for game time.

“It’s good to have him back and hopefully we can keep him going in the right direction.

“He’s got ongoing problems, they’re never straightforward injuries around the pelvis because there’s a lot going on down there.

“The tear in his stomach was repaired straightaway but the instability in and around his pelvis is the stuff we’ve had to work a lot harder on.

“When it’s all in the same region you know it’s something underlying there. That’s the issue and it’s something we’ve been working hard on to put right.”