Heckingbottom told: Barnsley job is yours if you want it

Manager Paul Heckingbottom with Play-off Trophy -  Picture: Simon Hulme
Manager Paul Heckingbottom with Play-off Trophy - Picture: Simon Hulme

Barnsley owner Patrick Cryne is quietly confident the club can be successful in the Championship next season.

And Cryne would love that to be under the stewardship of Paul Heckingbottom.

Caretaker boss Heckingbottom was pivotal in guiding the club to incredible double honours last term with the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and League One Play-Off final trophies to toast.

And victory in the latter, of course, saw the Reds secure promotion back to the English second tier, two seasons after their miserable relegation.

“He’s [Paul] got the blend of all the things you’d like a manager to have,” revealed Cryne.

“He was a tenacious footballer in his own right, so he knows how to tough it out on the pitch.

“Hecky is every fan’s idea of a football pro – hard, determined and leaves it all on the field.

“But he’s also a very thoughtful and well qualified coach. He’s got a lot of academic qualities in his personality.

“He’s very thoughtful, but at the same time he’s not over adventurous. If it’s not broken he doesn’t try and fix it.

“He doesn’t tinker around and tries to stick with a winning formula.

“But if that formula doesn’t work he’s got a thoughtful alternative to it.

“Those are the things which I really admire about him – and he’s a Barnsley lad as well, which doubles the situation.”

Cryne is full of admiration for Heckingbottom, and his processor Lee Johnson, for the way they have turned around the club.

But a great deal of that praise, especially over the last few months, should arguably go to Heckingbottom for the way he helped the club storm up the League One table following Johnson’s departure.

Inspired by their fine JPT win over Oxford at Wembley, the Reds didn’t look back and finished their fairytale season in style with their Wembley win against Millwall.

Cyrne added: “The job is his for the taking if he wants it?

“I can imagine their might be quite a few other people who might want him as well, but I hope that Barnsley’s pull will be enough.

“I think it’s a case of just formalizing his position, but honestly we’ve never had a conversation about it at any time.

“If we broached the subject with him he just said ‘leave it’. There’s never been a time in the run up to the end of the season, and everything which flowed from it, where we’ve been able to sit down about the future and have any sort of certainty where we’ll be.”