Barnsley: Heckingbottom missing lack of competition in squad

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom

Paul Heckingbottom cannot wait until he has all of his players back at his disposal.

The Barnsley head coach is low on numbers with Aidy White and Saidy Janko out injured as well as Josh Scowen’s suspension.

The Reds have come crashing down after their high-flying start, taking just one point from a possible 18.

“Obviously we’d like everyone fit,” said Heckingbottom. “It’s the competition for places that we’re missing with Scowy being suspended and the injuries.

“For the competition we need everyone back. We’re missing quite a few first-team players.

“You want the competition everyday in training and you want the options from the bench.

“I’d rather have everyone fit everyday and have to leave people out because it shows we’re in a good healthy place.”

Uncharacteristic mistakes have seen Heckingbottom’s side ship eight goals in their last three games and he believes it is a domino effect that helps you win games.

The 39-year-old added: “We’ve been getting punished of late for our own mistakes.

“If you don’t make a mistake all game then you’ve got a better chance of keeping a clean sheet.

“If you keep a clean sheet then you don’t lose the game, it’s that logical really.”

Marc Roberts and James Bree have both overcome bouts of cramp from Tuesday night’s defeat and captain Conor Hourihane looks to have come through unscathed with his calf.

Striker Adam Armstrong is back in contention after being unavailable against parent club Newcastle in the week.

The Bees are also looking to get back to winning ways after a defeat and a draw in their last two outings.

And Heckingbottom sees similarities between the two squads and he knows the London club will cause problems if the Reds are not at their best.

“They’re a good side, a good young side similar to us,” said Heckingbottom.

“Dean’s got them playing in a similar sort of way to how he got the Walsall team playing so they like to move the ball quick.

“They work hard and have some players who can hurt you with their qualify on the ball.

“It’s going to be a tough game away from home at their place but every game’s tough.

“If we bring our best then we’ll be all right but if we don’t Brentford will cause us problems.

“Our focus is the points whether they come from top of the league, bottom of the league, home or away it doesn’t matter.

“We’re happy with the squad we’ve got, the players we’ve got to go and put in a performance down there that brings us back some points.”