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Heckingbottom accuses Leeds of “targeting” Harvey Barnes
Monday, 27th Nov 2017 21:46 by Tim Whelan

We could all do with a good laugh on a Monday, and this week we can all have a good giggle over the post-match comments from Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom.

Heckingbottom thinks Leeds set out to target Harvey Barnes, the 19 year-old they have on loan from Leicester City. Apparently we saw him as a danger man, as he’s been impressive after he arrived at Oakwell, with his five goals making him their second top scorer. Let’s remind ourselves that he was booked for confronting Luke Ayling and then was lucky to avoid a second yellow card for a rugby tackle on Kalvin Phillips.

Referring to the first incident Heckingbottom said “It is appalling that he got booked for a kid (Ayling) trying to win a penalty. An appalling dive, I don’t have to see it back to know that. If the referee blows and books him (Ayling), Harvey doesn’t react. That put him on the back foot but, to me, it was more the reactions of their bench that put him under pressure”.

The referee was much closer to Ayling than Heckingbottom, and he saw what the rest of us did, that Ayling simply slipped over. He didn’t claim a penalty, and got straight up to get on with the game, intent on looking for the ball. It’s a shame the Barnsley boss is refusing to watch a video of the incident, because if you’re going to accuse someone of diving, you really ought to check what you’re talking about, so you don’t end up talking garbage.

It wasn’t “targeting” that caused Barnes to react to Ayling’s slip, nor did anyone ask him to go and rugby tackle Phillips. If I was Heckingbottom I would be more concerned about the actions of my own player, rather than trying to blame anyone else. It’s true that the Leeds bench started to call for his dismissal, but they were obviously infuriated that Barnes had avoided what should have been a second yellow.

After his next foul the referee warned him that one more would give him an early bath, and he seemed to pull out of a tackle in the move that led to our second goal just before half time. He was then substituted at the break.

Heckingbottom was also unhappy with the way that our bench celebrated that goal, seemingly by someone looking in his direction as they did so. “One of their lads needs to learn how to celebrate. He needs to have a bit of class about him, instead of trying to get over and signal to our bench. He was trying to say it wasn’t at me but that doesn’t matter. You don’t do that.”

But the Barnsley supremo did at least admit that we were the better side on the day. Thank goodness for that.

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