Now for the play-offs, says Heckingbottom after Barnsley's Wembley glory
Barnsley caretaker boss Paul Heckingbottom was feeling the '˜buzz' after guiding his team to their first cup success in more than 100 years.
The Reds lapped up their day in the sun at Wembley Stadium, coming back from 1-0 behind at the interval to beat Oxford United 3-2 in a dramatic Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.
An almost overwhelmed Heckingbottom said: “It’s very special of course, and I’m still buzzing.
“The adrenaline is still kicking in, but I know exactly how much of an achievement this has been. It’s been a brilliant day all round, but we’ve got to go and get ourselves into the play-offs now.
“Some say it’s been a distraction. It certainly was when Lee Johnson left, but to be honest we always had a plan for any eventuality like that.
“We had a plan if Johnno left, and we stuck to it.
“We’ve got seven massive league games to go now, so as I say, let’s use this and go and get in those play-offs.
“We’ve had this success in the Trophy, so I guess the rest of the season is a free one now.
“We’ve been playing good, effective football, and we can get the results we need over the remaining weeks of the season.”
It appears stern words were exchanged in the Tykes dressing room at half-time.
Heckingbottom added: “To be honest I thought the players needed a kick up the backside.
“It wasn’t tactical what we spoke about, it was just motivational stuff, telling the lads that we just needed to start taking our chances. It was just a case of flicking the switch to ‘on’ really. Thankfully the lads did that to a tee, and now we’ve got one big celebration ahead of us.
“We’ve shown tremendous character in coming from behind, but that’s the mindset these lads have shown all season. They’ve got the ability to fight back from adversity.
Heckingbottom saluted a super effort from Oxford, who gave his team a mighty fright in leading at half-time.
He added: “You can see they are a good side. Oxford are a League One team in waiting.”
“They were better than us in the first half. They showed a greater tempo, while we were two or three yards off it.
“That’s not us, but we’ve battled back and get the result in the end.”