Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom has told the club website that they must be at their best again if they want to beat Derby County.
Before the season, the Tykes would have been ecstatic to get 50 points at this point of the season as that number is usually the amount you need to make sure you don’t get relegated from the Sky Bet Championship. But because they are currently 10th in the league, they believe that there is a chance of them making the play-offs, something that would be a stunning achievement considering that at the start of last season they were in the Sky Bet League One relegation zone.
But if Barnsley do want to push on and surprise even more people, they will once again have to be at their best when they face Derby County at the weekend, another team that could also break into the top six if they get a good run of form together.
He said: “The details are for us and stay in the dressing room but there’s always things we can work on but it’s a case of keeping that mentality of improving.”
“We’ve got 17 players that are all chomping and when they’ve been called upon in the last couple of months, they’ve done really well. Everyone is playing for that place and playing for improvement is what drives us forward.”
“We’ve been pleased with how we’ve adapted, how we’ve dealt with challenges on and off the pitch and if I take stock, there’s been lots of things we’ve been pleased with but you can’t be satisfied.”
“It’s about how do we improve, next season will be an all new challenge regardless of what happens this season and you have to be doing things better than this season. We don’t and we never spoken about the play-offs. You set targets at the start of the season to stay up and you’re happy with fourth bottom.”
“You set targets of the play-offs and once you can’t get there, your target’s gone. It’s pointless, we don’t do it. It’s about being as good as you can be and seeing where that gets you.”
“I don’t think we’re there yet but what we have changed in terms of mentality is that habit forming, I’d like to think they want to be the best they can be. So regardless of them playing for Barnsley and winning games, that comes as a by-product of them being wanting to be as good as they can possibly be.”
“It’s us pushing them with that sort of mentality and that’s what you’re trying to get. I’d love to be in a position where in training you’re just there to supervise because the lads are driving everything themselves.”