Paul Heckingbottom tells Barnsley to heed message

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MANAGER Paul Heckingbottom insists Barnsley’s heaviest home defeat in more than three years must serve as a “wake-up call” to his side.

The Reds crashed to a 5-2 reverse on Friday night against Nottingham Forest live in front of the Sky cameras.

Calamitous defending let down Heckingbottom’s men, three of the five goals coming via poor marking, and the others – a free-kick and penalty by Henri Lansbury – were a result of poor individual mistakes.

“We gifted them the game,” said Heckingbottom about a loss that was Barnsley’s heaviest at Oakwell since Watford triumphed 5-1 in September, 2013.

“It was disappointing that we offered them every one of the goals. Five goals, seven attempts.

“We just weren’t good enough and it is a wake-up call. The players will have recorded this and will watch it back. They will know exactly what I was talking about because we just gave them the game.

“Without the ball, we just weren’t ourselves. We worked hard and did the 60-yard run back, but then didn’t stop the cross. We marked the striker, but then didn’t get across him at the front post. It was disappointing.

“Let’s just hope we have made all the errors in one game.”

Barnsley’s defensive woes came on the back of three clean sheets in the club’s previous four outings.

A chance to make amends comes this Saturday, when Barnsley will head to Birmingham City in the Championship.

“I felt it was an opportunity missed,” said the Reds’ chief about the Forest loss.

“We let ourselves down. But now we have to dust ourselves off and go again.

“The good thing is we have some personnel back. A few bodies will be back and that will allow us to change a few things.”