Barnsley: Heckingbottom happy with Reds loan defender Jones

Gethin Jones
Gethin Jones
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Head coach Paul Heckingbottom has been pleased with loanee Gethin Jones since the defender joined Barnsley.

The full-back moved to the club on a short-term basis from Premier League outfit Everton in January.

His run in the Reds’ starting line-up has been his first string of games in professional football and the young Welshman has had his critics since moving to Oakwell.

However, Heckingbottom was quick to defend the 21-year-old who has had to play at both left-back and his favoured right-back since coming to South Yorkshire.

“I was pleased with him against Ipswich,” he said. “With every other player we take in, we have to work with them and try to get them up to speed as quickly as possible.

“We have to try and make it as easy as possible for them so that their transition into our team is as smooth as possible.

“The other side of it is what they need as a player, because everyone needs to improve.

“I’ve been pleased with him recently because he’s been strong in defence.”

The player started on the right when he first came in to the side, with Andy Yiadom away at the African Cup of Nations with Ghana.

But since Yiadom’s return, Jones has found himself on the left-hand side while Aidy White recovers from surgery.

Heckingbottom admitted you can see the difference in the quality of Jones’ distribution.

He added: “It’s a little bit difficult for him at left-back. He loves to get forward and on the right it’s natural for him to deliver off his right foot, but on the left it’s different.

“That’s just one of the things we’re working on with him, his distribution going up the pitch.”