Barnsley: Reds are winners in Leeds switch, says Heckingbottom

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom
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Former boss Paul Heckingbottom insists Barnsley can have a “fresh start” now he is no longer at the helm.

The ex-Reds player jumped ship for Yorkshire rivals Leeds United earlier this week, just four days after signing a new contract at Oakwell.

Barnsley received a payment of almost £500,000 because of Heckingbottom’s release clause.

Speaking at his first Leeds press conferece, Heckingbottom, pictured, said: “I have family who are Barnsley so I understand (how the fans feel). But I also have friends who understood why I left the club.

“It’s a fresh start for them now. Barnsley are the winners here in terms of the release clause.

“I had an unbelievable time at Barnsley, first as a fan, then a player, then a coach and then in charge. I had some great times there, some tough times and some emotional times.

“There has been plenty of speculation (about other jobs) and I said all along I didn’t really want to leave Barnsley. This time everything felt right. You can start to spread yourself too thin.

“Here I will be involved in it all but there will be people to help me. That appealed to me.”

Meanwhile, the Reds’ search for a new manager continues.

Lincoln City boss Danny Cowley, the early front-runner for the job, has ruled himself out of contention.

Former Barnsley player Mick McCarthy is now the bookies’ favourite.

McCarthy was born and bred in the town, making nearly 300 appearances for the club. The Ipswich Town boss has been at Portman Road for more than five years, leading the Tractor Boys to the Championship play-offs in the 2014/15 season.

Simon Grayson is believed to be on the shortlist and David Unsworth is also thought to be interested.

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