Barnsley: Reds braced for Brentford battle

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom

Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom is expecting Brentford to pose a big challenge this afternoon.

The two sides boast the youngest respective squads in the Championship, and the Reds are going for the double after toppling the Bees at Griffin Park earlier in the season.

Brentford have won four of their last five games, with an emphatic 4-0 thrashing of Derby County last time out.

“It’s going to be a battle,” admitted Heckingbottom.

“You speak to some people and they say they’re the best team they’ve played and that’s because on their day they are really, really good.

“Dean Smith has a really good side there and they’ve had a good shape now for a few years now.

“They’ve got the added freedom of knowing they’re safe, and that will suit their style of play.”

At Oakwell, the aim is to bring players through their academy, while Brentford recruit straight into their developmental set-up after getting rid of their own academy.

While the two clubs have very different processes in that regard, Heckingbottom explained that the end goal remains the same - bringing young talent through to the first team.

“Brentford go about their business totally differently to us,” stated Heckingbottom. “A lot of the players we’ve sold over the years have come through our academy.

“Brentford have scrapped their academy and focus on their development group and recruiting into that.”

Much like the Reds, Smith’s side are another that have to battle financial constraints in comparisons to the big hitters in the division.

However, both outfits have secured their safety and looking for top-half finishes this season.

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