Barnsley: Heckingbottom calls for Reds to show killer touch

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom

Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom wants his side to be more ruthless in front of goal.

Two second half goals handed the Reds a well deserved 2-0 victory against Vanarama National League North side Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday.

But the lack of potency in the final third in the first half was an area Heckingbottom feels needs addressing with tougher pre-season games to come before embarking on a Championship campaign.

“It’s important that we’re more ruthless in and around the final third this season,” said Heckingbottom.

“We know that we’ll probably get less opportunities this season in comparison to last year so we’ll have to brush up on that.

“We need to touch up on it but that’s what these games are about in pre-season and that’s where we have to practice it.”

Heckingbottom’s charges take on National League outfit Guiseley AFC tonight.

The West Yorkshire-based side gave the Reds a good game last year and Heckingbottom expects a similar test again.

The 38-year-old is to continue experimenting with his squad but he feels it is important to keep key partnerships together.

“I wanted to keep a couple of players together at Stalybridge in terms of centre-backs and stuff,” added Heckingbottom.

“Every player had the same objective going into the game, both left-backs, both right-back, the wingers etc.

“Guiseley gave us a tough game last year just like Stalybridge did so it’ll be another step up.

“It’ll probably be similar in terms of personnel and we have to make sure it fits in with our training programme.

“It’ll be another tough week this week and then away at Bath and a couple more down days before we face Everton.”

New boy George Moncur looks set to have another run out in the middle of the park.

But the Barnsley boss believes the former Colchester player has the talent to play in any position.

“Whichever position you play him he has the attributes to perform there,” revealed Heckingbottom.

“It’s important for George that he listens to the role if he’s playing as a striker and the role if he’s playing in central midfield.

“Me seeing George and knowing his strengths and weaknesses I know we could stick him in as a second striker and he’ll do the role naturally.

“We feel he needs more work as a two at the minute and predominantly pre-season we’ll be working on that aspect of his game and it’s nice to see him go and do it.”