Heck has got Barnsley to gel ahead of trip to Norwich City

Barnsley's Harvey Barnes is a danger this afternoon. Picture: Richard Sellers/Empics Sport

Barnsley's Harvey Barnes is a danger this afternoon. Picture: Richard Sellers/Empics Sport - Credit: EMPICS Sport

Barnsley fan Tom Yeomans is the man with the answers as he takes a look at the visit to Carrow Road.

Barnsley boss, and former Canary, Paul Heckingbottom. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Barnsley boss, and former Canary, Paul Heckingbottom. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Have you been disappointed with the season so far?

Not really. I think we’ve been playing very well – just the odd individual mistake in games has cost us. We’ve dominated nearly all the games but we’re just struggling to keep clean sheets.

What has been the key to the recent upturn in form?

We’ve found our formation with the new players – we had 17 new signings in the summer and needed time to gel. We’ve played 4-3-3 in the last three games, getting seven points and players are playing as a well-oiled machine now. Our last game against Birmingham was our most dominant display, other than Sunderland, and we could have won by seven or eight.


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Are you worried to see Paul Heckingbottom being linked with Sunderland?

Very worried. He turned us around to get promotion two years ago, from being bottom, and performed miracles in the first half of last season, only for all the best players to go, but he has found some more lower league gems this season. I think we would struggle if he went, although we have got an excellent recruitment and youth system. I think his heart will choose to stay at Barnsley.

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Have you missed Marley Watkins since his summer move to Norwich?

Marley puts in 110pc effort every game, a good League One player. He moved to Norwich before establishing himself as a Barnsley Championship player – low goal to chance conversion rate.

Which players have impressed so far this season?

Harvey Barnes, on loan from Leicester, and Liam Lindsay have been the most impressive. Barnes’ ability to beat players is brilliant, and his speed is something to worry defenders. Lindsay is an all-round centre-half, wins most aerial duels, is good with his feet and can put in a strong tackle. Joe Williams has been a very good asset from Everton, on loan – he’s not afraid to put a foot in, has a good range of passing and controls the centre of the park.

And which have disappointed?

The only disappointing player so far in my opinion is the captain, Angus MacDonald; he’s made a lot of the mistakes at the back which have cost us a few goals. I think he’s struggled adapting without having Marc Roberts next to him. He’s had a few different centre-half partners as Lindsay was injured at the start of the season, so I think he’s now getting a better understanding of how to play with Lindsay, which is why results have picked up.

Have you been surprised to see Norwich slip back into mid-table?

I’m 50/50 on that – I think Norwich have a few decent players, especially in the middle of the park, but the goal threat is limited due to options of proven scorers at this level, lack of signings and the fitness of Oliveira.

Which of the City players will you be most wary of?

James Maddison is my biggest concern. He’s a very technically gifted player, good with both feet and pulls the strings in the middle of the park. If Joe Williams can stick to him and keep him quiet it will give us a massive advantage to win the game.

And lastly, what is your prediction?

Norwich 1 Barnsley 2.

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