Barnsley promoted: Paul Heckingbottom set for manager's job talks after Wembley win

Barnsley caretaker manager Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom led Barnsley to two Wembley wins in the space of eight weeks

Paul Heckingbottom is poised for talks about becoming Barnsley manager on a more permanent basis after leading the club back into the Championship.

The 38-year-old has led the Tykes to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and a League One play-off final victory over Millwall in his time as interim boss.

"We have had a bit of uncertainty and I told the players to put it to the back of their minds," he said.

"I had to do the same. Now we can start sorting everyone's future out."

Barnsley were bottom of the table in December but an outstanding run of form under former boss Lee Johnson, who left for Bristol City, and then Heckingbottom meant the Reds reached the play-offs and returned to the second tier after a two-year absence.

"We have had a lot of players out of contract but my message was we had bigger things to be chasing," Heckingbottom added.

"I asked them to be selfless and put the team first and chase this promotion, and they did it. I can't be telling them to achieve our targets first and then me go and sign a contract. We can talk now."

'Determination and togetherness'

Heckingbottom, who was part of the Barnsley side which won promotion through the play-offs in 2006, led the club to their first cup final win since 1912 when they won the Football League Trophy in April.

"Everybody knows if I hadn't been here on the bench today I would have been down here watching," the former defender said.

"We said how good the JPT was, but this was the main goal.

"We are really lucky to have done what we have done this season. But it is through hard work, determination and a togetherness and willingness to go above and beyond. I keep reminding them that."

Lions 'have built foundations'

Millwall manager Neil Harris

Meanwhile, Millwall boss Neil Harris believes his side will learn from the experience of their defeat and come back stronger next season.

The 38-year-old saw the Lions relegated from the Championship last season but came close to delivering an immediate return in his first full campaign in charge, only to be beaten 3-1 at Wembley on Sunday.

"We had a huge transition of players over the summer and a real slow start to the season," Harris said.

"The players have grown into it. We have built the foundations for a period of time to come and I feel the players have put the pride back in the club.

"There are loads of positives for us, although on Sunday we fell short.

"Myself, the staff and the players have learned along the journey to today and that won't waver. We will keep learning and I will be a better manager next year."

Top Stories