Barnsley: Heckingbottom wants to give Reds fans a belated Christmas present against Blackburn

Paul Heckingbottom.
 Picture Bruce Rollinson
Paul Heckingbottom. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Head coach Paul Heckingbottom wants to give Barnsley fans a belated Christmas present today.

The Reds are looking for a fourth win in five as struggling Blackburn Rovers travel to Oakwell.

However, Barnsley have suffered from a Christmas Day hangover as they have failed to win a Boxing-Day fixture in the past six seasons and Heckingbottom said: “There’s plenty of reasons to do well at Christmas.

“We want to win every game no matter what day it is.

“We want to ride the crest of a wave and win and having three games close together does make a difference.

“It’s always good and interesting to have something a little bit different. The reason why we like the Christmas period is because everyone is off trying to get tickets.

“Families are up and there’ll be lots of people who have come home for the holidays and we’d like to get a win for them as well if they turn up and haven’t been before this season.”

Aidy White played 75 minutes for the U23s last week and is in contention once again.

On-loan striker Adam Armstrong has returned to running on grass but is a way off being selected, whilst long-term injury lay off Sessi D’Almeida is progressing well. Rovers are currently two points adrift of safety and are coming to Oakwell off the back of three successive 3-2 defeats.

But Heckingbottom is refusing to take them lightly, saying: “Their form and how they’re performing now is better than where they are in the league.”

“I know they started the season poorly and had some bad results and people were disappointed,” he added.

“But from what I’ve seen in the last couple of months they’ve been performing great and I’d like to hazard a guess that Owen [Coyle, Rovers manager] will have said they aren’t getting out of a game what they deserve.

“They’re a team who are on the up and they’ll be coming to us and paying us the respect that we deserve.

“They’ll have looked at our qualities and strengths and will have come up with a game plan to try and stop us and win the game at the same time.”