Club 'shocked' as Barnsley confirm Paul Heckingbottom has joined Leeds United

Paul Heckingbottom has left Barnsley to take charge of Leeds United
Paul Heckingbottom has left Barnsley to take charge of Leeds United
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Paul Heckingbottom has been confirmed as the new Leeds United manager with old club Barnsley admitting they were shocked by the home-town hero's departure.

Two years on from taking charge, Heckingbottom has signed a deal at Elland Road until the summer of 2019, replacing Thomas Chritiansen who weas saacked on Sunday.

Heckingbottom only recently agreed a new contract at Oakwell, a factor in Barnsley's disappointment that he has left the South yorkshire club.

A statement published on the club's website read: "The Club are shocked at Paul Heckingbottom’s desire to leave, having agreed a new contract with Barnsley Football Club last week following the completion of the January transfer window, where the Board of Directors worked tirelessly along with Paul to secure their targets, resulting in a successful window. This left the Club optimistic in a turnaround in form and a strong end to the 2017/18 campaign as we battle to retain our position in the league."

Within the statement, Barnsley chief executive Gauthier Ganaye said: “Yes, it was unexpected. Yes, it has come during an already complicated period. Yes, it will make things more difficult short term, but our Club is full of resources and it is certainly not dependent on one man alone. I’m asking everyone from the players, employees and our loyal fans to come together as we have an important game on Saturday.”

He added: “Yes, it was unexpected. Yes, it has come during an already complicated period. Yes, it will make things more difficult short term, but our Club is full of resources and it is certainly not dependent on one man alone. I’m asking everyone from the players, employees and our loyal fans to come together as we have an important game on Saturday.”

Heckingbottom has taken with him to Leeds, first team coach Jamie Clapham, head of sports science Nathan Winder and performance analyst Alex Bailey.

Paul Harsley will take charge of Barnsley on an interim basis, with the Reds taking on Sheffield Wednesday at Oakwell on Saturday.