Barnsley urged to give Paul Heckingbottom long-term deal after stunning Wembley double

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom with the trophy after guiding his side to promotion.  Picture: Tony Johnson
Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom with the trophy after guiding his side to promotion. Picture: Tony Johnson
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ADAM HAMMILL is hoping interim boss Paul Heckingbottom is rewarded with a full-time contract after leading Barnsley to a second Wembley win of the season.

Since stepping up to replace Lee Johnson in February, Heckingbottom has won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and now the bigger prize of promotion to the Championship following an impressive 3-1 win against Millwall in the play-off final on Sunday afternoon.

Barnsley caretaker manager Paul Heckingbottom celebrates with the League One play-off trophy. Picture: Nigel French/PA.

Barnsley caretaker manager Paul Heckingbottom celebrates with the League One play-off trophy. Picture: Nigel French/PA.

Winger Hammill, who scored a stunning second goal for the Reds, said: “Hecky’s come in when Lee left and he’s taken over the reins, he’s had a few tweaks, worked on what he’s wanted to do on the system and he’s done absolutely unbelievable.

“Two trips to Wembley and two wins. I think the chairman will be getting a contract out for him tonight!”

Hammill scored one of the goals of the season in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final win but felt his strike today topped that.

“I was a little bit disappointed when (Hull midfielder) Mo Diame’s was better than mine yesterday so I thought ‘I’ve got to top it’!,” quipped Hammill.

Man of the match Adam Hammill.  Picture Tony Johnson

Man of the match Adam Hammill. Picture Tony Johnson

“It’s an unbelievable feeling. We’ve worked so hard to get from where we did in November, sacrificed a lot, worked our socks off and to a man we’ve been outstanding and it’s fully deserved.

“I’m made up for all the players, the staff, they fully deserve it.”

As for any kind of deal being offered, manager Heckingbottom was far more reserved than his winger.

“We’ll have to see won’t we (on a contract),” he said. “We said we would wait until after the season.

Barnsley's Adam Hammill (right) celebrates scoring his side's second goal Picture: Nick Potts/PA.

Barnsley's Adam Hammill (right) celebrates scoring his side's second goal Picture: Nick Potts/PA.

“I couldn’t be any prouder. Every single thing we’ve asked them to do throughout the season they’ve tried to do it and whenever anyone is doing that for you you’ll go to war with them and that’s what these boys have done.”

Midfielder Lloyd Isgrove, on loan with the Tykes from Southampton, scored Barnsley’s third goal and he said: “There’s no better way to top such a season off. I took my time but I got the goal in the end. We’re delighted.

“(The early goal) settled us down, settled our nerves and once we started moving the ball around we never looked like losing really.”

Millwall boss Neil Harris is confident his side will be pushing for promotion once again next season.

STUNNER: Barnsley's Adam Hammill curls in his side's second goal against Millwall at Wembley.  Picture: Tony Johnson

STUNNER: Barnsley's Adam Hammill curls in his side's second goal against Millwall at Wembley. Picture: Tony Johnson

“I’m proud of them,” said Harris. “There’s huge disappointment, of course there is, and there are players and staff in there that are absolutely gutted.

“But we’ve come so far, we just couldn’t finish it off today. Congratulations to Barnsley, they’ve done similar to us, the way they’ve come but it’s disappointing for us.”

Harris admitted the loss of defender Byron Webster to injury in the warm-up had played a part.

He added: “I think it looked obvious didn’t it?

“It affected us mentally before the game. We worked all week on our gameplan and it all goes out of the window in the warm-up.

“It’s a learning curve for me, definitely, and certainly for the players.”