Barnsley: Jamie Clapham’s arrival eased the pain of Tommy Wright saga says Paul Heckingbottom

Jamie Clapham, interim coach at Barnsley

Jamie Clapham, interim coach at Barnsley

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Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom believes Jamie Clapham has steadied the ship after a tumultuous time at the club.

Clapham was ushered in on the back of the Tommy Wright debacle and he has helped Heckingbottom keep the players focused on the job in hand.

The Barnsley boss would be delighted if Clapham became his new right-hand man in the long term but is unsure whether that will be the case.

“Timing is everything,” said the 39-year-old. “Jamie’s come in and steadied the ship.

“Claps was happy to come in and help a mate out, no payment no nothing.

“It might be for the short term but it might be me and him now and I’d be happy with that because I know he’s a good lad.

“He’s a good coach, works his socks off and would be a great help to me.

“Whoever comes in has to benefit the club and help us bridge the gap between us and the clubs with a parachute payments.

“I’m talking to the powers that be and there may be two roles there, you never know.”

The Reds return from the international break tomorrow when they host Fulham at Oakwell as they look to end a four-match winless run.

James Bree is back in contention for the game but Aidy White is unlikely to feature before the next international break.

The left-back injured his gluteal muscle against Reading and he will have to undergo surgery after consultation with a specialist.

Heckingbottom is looking forward to coming up against a former Premier League stalwart and feels it will be yet another great test to see where his side are at.

He added: “They can be really dangerous, they’re really good to watch and easy on the eye.

“We have to be really good out of possession and not panic when they’re on the ball because they can hold it for a long time.

“We just need to go into it knowing that when we get the ball we can cause them problems.

“It’ll be good to test ourselves against a former Premier League side.

“It wasn’t long ago Fulham and Newcastle were playing each other in the Premier League and we were a long way off that but we have them both in a few days here.

“We’ve got a good record at home and we’re looking to carry that on.”