Barnsley: Paul Heckingbottom poised to takes Reds job full time

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom

Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom could sign a new deal with the club in the next fortnight.

The Star understands Heckingbottom has met with club owner Patrick Cryne about a new contract.

Heckingbottom guided the club to a memorable promotion to the Championship and also the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy title.

And having been caretaker manager ever since Lee Johnson left Oakwell in February, Heckingbottom has done himself proud.

The 38-year-old is well-respected by the club’s supporters, hierarchy and especially the players.

So intent on achieving success this season, Heckingbottom batted away talks about his future until the season was finished.

And it’s proved an astute move with club own Patrick Cryne have revealed he wants Heckingbottom to take the job on a permanent basis.

Born and bred in Barnsley, Heckingbottom as a real affinity with the club having worked in the youth ranks, played for the first team and ultimately taking charge of the first team because of his desire.

That evidence to success was evident in the way he molded a group of under-performing players to achieve unprecedented success last season.

Two Wembley appearances and two magnificent wins. Some credit, of course, must go to former boss Johnson for the way he got the club back on a roll having been rooted to the foot of League One at the end of November.

But since February 6 when Johnson left, it has been Heckingbottom who has helped build the momentum and a winning philosophy at a club who had been clinging on to their English second tier status until their 2014 relegation.

Two years later the club have come back stronger than ever before and even Cryne admitted the club had been well enough prepared to cope with the demands of the Championship last time around.

“It’s always been the case that he [Paul] is the boss of Barnsley, but we’ve just never got round to confirming it with us and signing the paperwork,” revealed Cryne.

“The job is his, it always has been. We’ve left Paul down to his own devices – and look what he’s done.

“It feels absolutely magnificent to be back in the Championship. I think it’s our natural place.

“History tells you that we’ve been in the Championship more than any other club. “I’m really pleased we’re back there – and it’s the right place for us.

“I never thought we could have been bottom in November, so to win two trophies at Wembley, well I could have never dreamt it.”