Brentford v Barnsley: Reds learning lessons in bid to keep it tight

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom
Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom
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BARNSLEY may have displayed considerable attacking zeal in their return to the Championship this season, but Paul Heckingbottom admits his current pressing concern is at the other end of the pitch.

Praise may have arrived for the Reds’ offensive traits which have produced 23 goals from 13 matches – a tally bettered by just the two top of Newcastle United and Norwich City – but Reds chief Heckingbottom is not particularly happy with another stand-out statistic.

His Barnsley side have conceded 22 goals – just bottom club Rotherham United and Nottingham Forest have conceded more in the second tier – with Heckingbottom admitting that there is significant room for improvement.

Heckingbottom, whose side will be seeking to end their six-match winless streak this afternoon, said: “We want the three points first and foremost, but if you do not make a mistake all game, you have got more chance of keeping a clean sheet.

“If you keep a clean sheet, you do not lose the game. Then if you keep a clean sheet, you have more chance of winning. It is that logical.

“However, we would be happy winning 4-3 and taking all the points. We just want to win the game.”

Having been promoted via the play-offs, Heckingbottom continued: “It is a steep learning curve. We drilled it down last season and kept clean sheets and we are not making as many mistakes this season, but we are playing against better players, so we are getting punished.

“We are asking more from the players with more concentration and we will definitely get there.

“If we bring our best, we know we will be all right, it is that sort of mentality. If we do not, we know Brentford will cause us problems.”