Barnsley: Heckingbottom wants Reds job on full-time basis

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom

Barnsley caretaker boss Paul Heckingbottom would love to take the helm permanently after his side propelled themselves into the League One play-off battle.

The Reds are on a remarkable run of 10 wins in 12 games, including four in six since Heckingbottom was handed the reins following the departure of Lee Johnson.

A commanding 2-0 victory over Coventry City on Tuesday night took Barnsley level on points with the sixth-placed Sky Blues, only outside the play-off places on goal difference.

And Heckingbottom has admitted that he is loving every minute of his spell as top dog at Oakwell and would be delighted to make himself a permanent fixture.

“It would be nice of course it would,” he admitted. “I’d never hide the fact that I love what I’m doing and I’m honoured to be doing it. I’d by lying if I said any different.

“The longer it goes on the better I feel. I’ve enjoyed every bit of it from setting the team up to dealing with the players and the press side of it.

“Not much of it is really new, probably the only new thing is it’s your decision and that’s probably the biggest change. Everything else is the same but it’s your decision at the end of the day.

“If the club are happy to keep going they’ll keep going, and if they think they need to change it they’ll change it and that’s my mindset too.

“We’ll be approaching every game with the same mindset and setting the team up in the same way to try and win the next game until I hear any different.”

Reds captain Conor Hourihane featured heavily in the win over Coventry, causing problems with his quality set-piece deliveries which ultimately led to the two goals.

And the Irish playmaker insists his peers are more than happy to continue their play-off push under Heckingbottom’s guidance.

“I always knew when Hecky took over things would just run smoothly and continue,” said the midfield maestro.

“He’s a very good intelligent footballing man and the lads get on with him great. Nothing’s changed, he’s just taken it in his stride and long may it continue. He deserves his chance and everyone loves him at the club.”