The arrival of Paul Heckingbottom gives everyone a huge boost at the club, things needed it because we were in a serious rut for the second time this season and the season is almost away from us as we stand. With Sheffield United and Derby coming up and a serious lack of options in some areas it’s backs against the wall, and we have been left clinging on to hope after such a terrible run.
Is Paul Heckingbottom here for this season or are we already thinking about next season? For me we aren’t close enough to the teams in the play-off chase to mount a challenge, both in terms of points and quality. we would need to win most of our games and with the fixture list coming up Heckingbottom must be thinking about taking stock and giving it a real go next year. That doesn’t mean the season is over yet, we could mount a challenge and it would only take a couple of wins in the big games coming up to put us back in the picture, I just can’t see enough quality in the side against the better teams. What I think Heckingbottom will do is give a variety of players a chance in the coming weeks, I would expect to see the likes of Stuart Dallas, Tyler Roberts and Hadi Sacko get some game time.
Heckingbottom took charge of his first training session today and videos on the official twitter account show him getting stuck in early, just hours after signing on with the club. He held his first meeting as manager before the session and he is well-known for his man-management of players, something he will probably focus on in the next few weeks. It isn’t a secret that he is a Barnsley fan and the fact he would leave his boyhood club to join their fiercest rivals (in their eyes) shows how keen he is to progress. A young, ambitious English coach has been given the chance to manage a famous club and that shouldn’t be overlooked because so many clubs just go foreign now, we did and it was beginning to catch up with us this season, Spanish boss Thomas Christiansen exposed by the rough and fierce nature of the Championship six months in.
His ability to bring in the young players and improve and develop them will have made him very attractive to Leeds United and the fact he’s happy to play them if he feels like they are ready is so important. It would be one of the reasons that Heckingbottom was attracted to Leeds United as well, the money is there and being spent on the development side and the resources are huge compared to Barnsley and he will be looking to kick that on in the next couple of years. He is a coach which helps the club out, there is little doubt that the head-coach doesn’t sign the players here but he may have some say, but Heckingbottom isn’t the one who did the recruitment at Barnsley, he left that to a director of football. He will squeeze the best out of the players he has for the rest of the season.