Barnsley v Derby County: Tykes hope self-induced cold spells will help heat up their stats

Barnsley's Liam Lindsay and Sheffield Wednesday's Gary Hooper get to grips with one another (Picture: Steve Ellis).
Barnsley's Liam Lindsay and Sheffield Wednesday's Gary Hooper get to grips with one another (Picture: Steve Ellis).
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It Is not the cold shoulder Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom has been giving his players this week.

To attempt to find a cure to halt the Tykes’ four-game losing streak, Heckingbottom brought in a ‘deep freeze’ cryo chamber.

Players stripped down to their underwear and gloves before climbing inside the mobile unit in the Oakwell car park on Thursday.

The frosty treatment of cryotherapy, which originated in Japan, uses extreme cold to help prevent muscle pain and injuries.

It is one of the alternative methods employed by Heckingbottom as the Reds look to end a run of four successive defeats.

The sequence has coincided with a drop in the players’ high intensity running stats.

We do push them hard, we have to, because we want to compete at a level that the players haven’t played at before. We are now seeing the effects of that.

Barnsley boss, Paul Heckingbottom

“It’s the deep freeze for a couple of minutes,” smiled Heckingbottom. “Looking at the game data we are covering the same distance, but the intensity is not there, the sprint distance has dropped right off.

“We were through the roof for six or seven games where no one could probably compete with us. That’s showing signs of fatigue; we have to be wary of that.

“So the work loads have been down this week, we have got a cryo chamber in for them.

“We are trying different things, educate them, and change the perspective on it.

“We are looking at how we can improve performances and that’s one area where we have dipped and dropped. Hopefully, we can take measures to up it again.

“Youthful exuberance is spot on. The excitement of being in the league, the body is doing things it’s never done before.

“We do push them hard, we have to, because we want to compete at a level that the players haven’t played at before. We are now seeing the effects of that.

“We are hoping this week and next week we recharge a little bit, and see an increase in physical outputs again.”

Defender Liam Lindsay has been one of the outstanding performers this season for the Tykes.

Having arrived from Scottish side Partick in the summer, the 22-year-old has impressed in an over-worked Reds defence.

The Scot admitted trying the cryo chamber was a new experience.

“I have never had one before,” he said. “The club has been brilliant. We are trying to get back up to the (high intensity running) levels, so hopefully this will do that.

“The boys don’t feel we haven’t done enough running. I think the running has been the same, it’s the intensity which has gone down. We need to get it back up.

“Once we get one result hopefully we can kick on and get a string of results. We need to get some points on the board and start climbing the table.

“There’s a lot of games coming up over Christmas, so hopefully we can start picking up points.”

Barnsley host Derby County today needing a win to put distance between themselves and the bottom three in the Championship.

Successive defeats to Cardiff City, Leeds United, Reading and Bolton Wanderers have dented confidence levels.

“It’s been pretty tricky, not the run we would have wanted,” said Lindsay.

“But it’s happened and we need to get on with it, starting against Derby on Saturday, and get our confidence back up.

“Losses are always going to knock you. No matter who you are they will always knock a wee bit of confidence.

“Every team in the Championship is good. There is no one team you can take the foot off the gas, you need to be at it every Saturday.

“If you are, you can beat any team. It’s a high standard, everyone is faster and more powerful.

“It’s helped me a lot, a good experience, and I just want to keep playing.

“There’s every type of goal flying in; you need to be on your toes all the time.

“That’s something I have learned from. The back four have to keep them out, and be a bit more clinical going forward.”

Lindsay has already had three different centre-back partners this season, in Adam Jackson, Angus MacDonald and Matty Pearson.

A settled defence always helps, but Lindsay is not using that as an excuse.

“We always switch up in training, so I am used to every centre-half pairing,” he explained. “It’s good, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s easy to step in with anyone.

“We have had injuries to Jacko, Gus was out, and Matty has come in. It’s ideal if you can have a settled defence, but things happen and everyone is good enough to come in and fill the position.”

Lindsay has stepped up in class, from the Scottish Premiership to the Championship, and is happy with his own development.

He said: “I feel I have done okay this season, done well.

“I just need to keep being consistent, keep some clean sheets.

“It just shows; we were flying one minute, then losing four straight games.

“Mentally, it has been good for me, to try and fight theups and downs and keep a level head all the time. The boys that I have been playing against, everything really, it’s just been a step up.”

Despite the recent results, Lindsay insists there is no discontent in the dressing room at Oakwell.

However, the defender – who netted seven times last season for Partick – is hoping to end his own goal drought after failing to find the net for Barnsley so far this season.

“The dressing room is fine, the gaffer is really good at raising everyone up,” Lindsay told The Yorkshire Post. “You wouldn’t think we were on that losing streak right now.

“We have a good group of boys, everyone is hungry, so I don’t think heads have dropped.

“We are just waiting for the next game to prove a point.

“I just want to play in every game I can play – playing well, hopefully – and get a few goals.”