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By Heck, Paul has worked some wonders at Barnsley

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 March 2017

Adam Hammill can be a match-winner on his day for Barnsley. Picture: PA

Adam Hammill can be a match-winner on his day for Barnsley. Picture: PA

PA Wire

Q So, ex-City player comes to Carrow Road to take on managerless Norwich City – how good has Paul Heckingbottom been for you?

Paul Heckingbottom celebrates after winning the League One play-off final at Wembley. Picture: PAPaul Heckingbottom celebrates after winning the League One play-off final at Wembley. Picture: PA

A Since becoming Reds manager in February 2016 Hecky has done an incredible job, guiding us to a Wembley double last season in the Johnstones Paint Trophy and the League One play-off final, and masterminding our successful return to the Championship this term. It’s fair to say we love Paul Heckingbottom!

Q Were you surprised at Alex Neil’s departure?

A Being honest I was not surprised. In all fairness he did well to last in the job as long as he did. When a manager loses the supporters the outcome is inevitable, as in this case.

Q You’re on a bit of a tricky run yourself at the moment – no win in five. Do you fancy a win today?

A We played really well against Ipswich last weekend where we battered them for the entire game, only to concede a last-kick-of-the-game equaliser. Hopefully we can maintain that similar performance level today. I am only too aware we do not have a good record at all at Carrow Road, but our style of play suits playing away from home against teams like Norwich.

Q Of course, a win would put you level on points with City – where do you think you will end up finishing come May?

A Barnsley supporters have to be realistic around expectations for this season, given the fact we sold three key players in January in Sam Winnall, James Bree and Conor Hourihane – a mid-table finish would be a fantastic achievement in our first season back in the Championship, especially as we have the lowest budget in the division.

Q Who will be your key players this afternoon?

A Adam Hammill is our talisman. He has the ability to make something out of nothing. His form has been a little inconsistent this season, but for me he is always a definite starter. Marley Watkins, who can play wide or in attack, is a constant threat and has had an excellent season – strong, quick and very direct. We have a great Marley Watkins song too…

Q And which players should Barnsley look out for in the City ranks?

A Like us, Norwich have strong players in forward areas, hence the number of goals scored this season, in particular at Carrow Road. I think Alex Pritchard is a fantastic player and Cameron Jerome is on very good scoring form at the moment.

Q And finally, a score prediction please.

A I have to say a Barnsley win, I will go for 3-2 to the Reds.

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