Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom has told the Sheffield Star that his team are set to be fired up by the red-hot atmosphere at St James Park this weekend.
While the Tykes do not have anything to play for going into the final game of the season, they are hoping to end the season in style after making such a big effort. Inside of fighting against relegation like expected before the start of the season, they actually became outside bets for the Sky Bet Championship play-offs and a number of their players seriously impressed in the process.
Now they are preparing for their final game of the season against Newcastle and it is sure to be an interesting one. The Magpies will be looking to claim the Championship title and will be backed by a sell out 50,000 strong crowd at St James Park. But Heckingbottom has said that the massive crowd and noise will spur them on to get a result in Sunday’s match.
He said: We thrive in games like these,”
“It’s a great occasion and event for us to be a part of. It’ll be the biggest crowd of the season and they’re playing for the Championship.”
“It’ll be a real test for us, there’s probably no tougher game to go into. They were everyone’s favourites; biggest squad, most money and they’ve got one game to try and win the league so we’ve not had a tougher game this season.”
“The biggest thing for me will be to see how the players are in that atmosphere.”
“People always say ‘you don’t play the occasion, you play the game’, but we’ve got to be ready for the occasion.”
“It’s going to affect the game, what are the crowd of 50,000 going to be like if they score first, or what are they going to be like if we score first.”
“It’ll be good for me to see the players in an atmosphere like that and see how they react to it, especially the ones we’ve got next year.”
“Hopefully they raise their game for it and it’s just going to be good for us to be a part of.”
“There will be changes in the game, ebbs and flows. I’d have thought he [Rafa Benitez] would have different tactics for different scenarios and what ifs.”