This Saturday 19th-placed Barnsley host league leaders Wolves in what is a crucial game for both teams. Speaking at the club press conference today, Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom talked injuries, new and potential signings, and on the opposition.
“We’re a bit light at the minute in terms of numbers, Adam Jackson has come back in, Matty Pearson has come back in too… Pearson missed 3 weeks but Jacko was more like 10 so he’ll take a while.”
Heckingbottom is also without defenders Andy Yiadom and Angus McDonald: “He (Yiadom) has been running well recently but we’ll have to see how he is today… We’ve done some different physical tests on Angus, were just waiting to get feedback on them and create a plan.”
After announcing the arrival of striker Kieffer Moore from Rotherham earlier in the week, Heckingbottom today said: “He’s fit having played a lot of games leading up to Christmas. He trained with us Tuesday and looked fine. We know we needed an aerial threat in the side – especially to score goals and also to defend set plays.
“There’s a lot of players out there like Kieffer, but he’s the one we’ve been watching and one that’s in our price range… I know there was other clubs and other offers, but he wanted to come here.
“He has got a point to prove in the Championship and hopefully he can’t prove that… we’re his next step and hopefully he’s good enough to take it. One thing I know about Kieffer is he’ll really be trying hard to do it.”
Kieffer himself was present in the conference: “It’s been an eventful January for myself” said the target man, “I had the call and as soon as I saw it was Barnsley I made up my mind. I’ve seen them play this season, the way they go about it – It’s a brilliant club to be at.
“We (Kieffer and Paul) had a very good talk, he told me what was expected of me. I’m 25 now and over the past 2 years I’ve been here there and everywhere. I wanted to cement a place and now I can kick on.”
Part-way into the January transfer window and Heckingbottom is looking to bring in “quite a few” more players: “There’s a dozen players out there that were trying to get.” Despite having no news of any departures from Barnsley, Heckingbottom was reluctant to comment on the potential arrival of Ashley Fletcher from Middlesborough and Christoph Knasmüller from Austrian side Admira Wacker.
Speaking on Saturday’s opposition, Heckingbottom was full of praise and ready to enact revenge for the 2-1 defeat at Molyneux earlier in the season. “We were really good, especially in the first half said Heckingbottom, “we created only a few chances because they defended so well. Second half they were a bit better, more open and better on the counter attack.”
The Barnsley manager was specifically praising Wolves’ ability without the ball: “It’s a foundation and no surprise that teams are going up. We know what we got to do, we know it’s going yo be a good atmosphere – We saw that at their end, so hopefully their fans will turn out.”