FOR Paul Heckingbottom, presiding over wins in Barnsley’s next two matches would bring more than a smidgeon of personal pride.
Heckingbottom’s primary aim may be for the Reds to reacquaint themselves with the wins column following a run of one victory in their past nine Championship outings, but three points against two of his former clubs in Norwich City and Sheffield Wednesday would feel somewhat sweet.
While Barnsley may be ensconced in a comparative comfort zone just above the mid-table positions after an impressive season, there remains plenty to play for, according to Heckingbottom and not just because of the personal symbolism of the club’s next two games.
Given the opposition, extra gloss would be provided if Barnsley should prevail.
The Reds kick off with a trip to East Anglia against a managerless Canaries side who are still harbouring faint hopes of breaking into the top six.
Heckingbottom had a brief spell in Norfolk in 2002-03 and his Barnsley side are seeking history today in seeking to secure their first double over Norwich since the 1936-37 season, with their last win at Carrow Road coming in May, 1937 – just a couple of years after the venue opened.
Heckingbottom, whose side can draw level on points with the Canaries with victory today, said: “It is another big game for us against a side who have been in the Premier League not so long ago.
“We want to push as high as possible and get as many points as possible.
“The players want to build as big and as good a reputation as they can and that is our focus.
“This is just another obstacle in front. We have had lots of different things, whether it be opposition or things going off behind the scenes – losing or buying players.
“That has been the nature of our season.”
Captain Marc Roberts should be able to feature this afternoon despite missing training for most of this week during to an ankle problem.
It is another big game for us against a side who have been in the Premier League not so long ago.Barnsley manager, Paul Heckingbottom