Potential Wembley return far from Barnsley’s thoughts, insists Heckingbottom

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom, at Bramall Lane last week. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom, at Bramall Lane last week. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom insists his players will not be distracted from their mission of gaining Championship points.

As well as behind-the-scenes talks of a takeover at Oakwell, the Reds are just 90 minutes away from a trip to Wembley in the League Cup.

Yesterday’s third-round draw saw the Reds handed a juicy trip to Tottenham – who are playing their home games at the national stadium this season – if they can overcome Derby County in the second round.

They are the two major topics for Barnsley fans, but Heckingbottom is adamant the focus of his players will not be swayed from tomorrow’s league visit of Sunderland. The injury-hit Tykes have just three points from their opening four league games.

“I am sure everyone will be talking about that (Wembley), but we have to play Derby first,” said Heckingbottom.

“It won’t really come into our thinking until after that game.”

As for being able to halt fans chatting about another trip to Wembley, Heckingbottom added: “Probably not, but we don’t have any fans in the dressing room. Our focus is on Sunderland, and the league games after that.”

Whether the Reds will have new owners by the time they play Derby on September 19 is unknown.

Chinese billionaire Chien Lee, the majority shareholder of French club Nice, is understood to be leading a group in discussions with Barnsley owner Patrick Cryne.

“That’s for other people to sort out, I wouldn’t talk about it even if I did know,” said Heckingbottom, when asked about the takeover yesterday.

I don’t see how it affects the players at all, they may talk about it, but that’s all. It doesn’t affect their job in any shape or form. There is no reason for it be a distraction.

Barnsley manager, Paul Heckingbottom

“I don’t see how it affects the players at all, they may talk about it, but that’s all. It doesn’t affect their job in any shape or form. There is no reason for it be a distraction.

“In the time I have been here, there has always been (takeover) talk, since Patrick came out and said he would sell the club – but only to the right person.

“I have always heard rumours, so probably everyone else has,” he added.

“If, and when it does happen, Patrick will make sure it goes to the right person.

“He has shown how much he cares about the club with his own money he has put in, so he’s not going to throw all that away.

“You cannot show any more love for the club, he has put his money where his mouth is.”