Date: 18th March 2016 at 6:55pm
Written by:

Head coach Paul Heckingbottom and Andy Hammill have both been in front of the media previewing the weekend’s game against Fleetwood Town.

With Barnsley losing against Southend last weekend, Heckingbottom told the Official Site that he was confident the side would bounce back and keep Play Off hopes alive and in any event, they would be fighting ’till the end’ of the campaign to achieve promotion.

‘Lloyd Isgrove is back in training after being ill all last week. James Bree is recovering from his hamstring injury, but you`ve got to be cautious with him. Aidy White is progressing really well and he`s really positive about it. Marley Watkins suffered a dead calf, he`s getting massages on that and his bruising is coming out. Ryan Williams is longer term, his pain’s subsiding and we need to get him to a stage where he can train again.’

Despite the injuries, Heckingbottom was confident of a response following the match, and he went on to say.

‘That`s what we`re after! I said it before when the team was settled, it wasn`t just the eleven getting the results it was the subs coming on as well and making an impact. Likewise, if people find themselves out of the team they have to work hard and be patient to get back in. It`s a squad game, a team game, and you want everyone to be motivated to get in the team and keep the shirt. We`re just outside the play-offs and we know what we have to do, it`s that simple. The run has been good, the form’s been good. It was a disappointing result on Saturday where I felt we dropped below our usual standards in terms of individually and as a collective, but on another day we would have took points from that game. It`s a good reminder that you need to be at your best to get results in this league. Southend came here and performed well.’

As for Fleetwood more specifically, well they were standing in Barnsley’s way for a trip to Wembley in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, and he knows the players will be confident going into another match against them at Highbury Stadium.

He does however know it’ll be another tough match again.

‘I was there Tuesday night and they haven`t changed the way they play. They`re still an expressive team that likes to pass the ball and play out from the back. They create chances from it. On the back of that, we know we`re good enough to cope with that and turn it to our advantage. When we do win the ball we have to punish them. After 90 minutes we want to make sure we`ve won the game and that`s what we`ll be aiming for. We need to be strong and disciplined when they`ve got the ball then be creative when we`ve got it.’

As for the remainder of the season, he ended by saying.

‘There`s that many teams involved in it, it`s going to be chopping and changing. Your only guarantee is winning every game to go upwards, but as soon as you draw or lose you can drop places. If teams keep going the way they are there`s going to be five or six teams in it on the last day of the season. Our aim is to be in and above that if we can keep our run going, but we`re prepared to fight and battle all the way to the end.’

As for Hammill, in his own interview, he was pleased to be back after his three game suspension.

‘I`m ready and raring to go. Missing three games was tough to take but it gave me the rest that I needed and to heal an injury that was there. It came at the right time and I can give it 100% now for the rest of the season.’

As for Southend, he knew Barnsley had the chances to take something from the match, but it’s about making up for that this weekend.

‘We had the chances to get something out of the game but they came with a game plan and it worked. I think we can take a little bit of positivity out of the game, but it`s a completely different game on Saturday now, we know they`re going to be looking for revenge. It`s going to be a tough game, but we`ve been working on it throughout the week on how to counteract the good sides and obviously how we can hurt them. We`re looking to take advantage of a few weaknesses that we`ve been working on all week and we`re looking to put it right after Saturday. I think it was only a little blip, we`re a lot stronger physically and mentally now. We`re full of confidence and it was only a little blip, we can kick on again Saturday. It will hurt them that we knocked them out, and they`re looking to stay in the league.’

Barnsley Bloggers

Join The Vital Debate