Barnsley v Birmingham City: Recall sees Roberts make Oakwell return

Paul Heckingbottom hopes Barnsley fans give returning defender Marc Roberts the respect his efforts for the club deserve when he comes back to Oakwell with Birmingham City today.

Halifax-born Roberts, 27, spent two years with the Reds, helping them win promotion from League One and then stabilise in the Championship.

His performances drew attention from a host of suitors and in the summer he opted to join Birmingham for a fee in the region of £3.5m.

It was part of a big summer of spending at St Andrews ahead of what was expected to be a big push for promotion under Harry Redknapp.

But things did not go to plan with Roberts losing his place in the team and Redknapp departing last month.

Roberts has earned a recall under new manager Steve Cotterill and Heckingbottom wants his time at Barnsley to be honoured by the fans.

Birmingham City's Marc Roberts (right) in action against Burton Albion earlier this season. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA

“I’m sure he’ll get a good reception,” said the Reds head coach.

“Steve has put him back in the side, and we know how good Robbo is, he was excellent for us.

“We know what he brings, the threat at set-plays. They’ve started using his long throw so he’ll be dangerous there.

“Birmingham are not happy with their start; they spent a shed load of money on transfers and wages and probably thought they’d assembled a really strong squad for this league.

We know what he brings, the threat at set-plays. They’ve started using his long throw so he’ll be dangerous there.

Paul Heckingbottom on former Barnsley defender Marc Roberts

“Steve has come in and is trying to be really tight at the back and give nothing away and be tough to play against.

“They’re trying to eliminate risk. They’ve got strong players at the back and up top, so they won’t come and park the bus. We know they’ll come here fighting.

“It’s going to be very similar to Tuesday night (at Burton) and it will be up to us to impose ourselves on them.”

Marc Roberts, pictured during his time with Barnsley.

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