Bristol City celebrate 2015 JPT success

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Johnstone's Paint Trophy

3 Apr 2016 - 2:30 PM

Barnsley caretaker boss Paul Heckingbottom was feeling the ‘buzz’ after guiding his team to their first cup success in more than 100 years at Wembley.

The League One Tykes came from behind at half-time to win the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final in some style against League Two high-fliers Oxford United.

Callum O’Dowda had opened the scoring, but an own goal from Che Dunkley brought the teams level before Ashley Fletcher and Adam Hammill put Barnsley ahead.

Despite Danny Hylton hitting back Barnsley held on, and Heckingbottom said: “It’s very special and I’m still buzzing.

“The adrenaline is still kicking in, but I know exactly how much of an achievement this has been.

“It’s been a brilliant day all round, but we’ve got to go and get ourselves into the play-offs now.

“Some say it’s been a distraction. It certainly was when Lee Johnson left (to manage Bristol City), but we always had a plan for any eventuality like that.

“We’ve got seven massive league games to go now, so let’s use this and go and get in those play-offs.

“We’ve had this success in the Trophy, so I guess the rest of the season is a free one now.

"We’ve been playing good, effective football, and we can get the results we need over the remaining weeks of the season.”

Second best in the first half, Barnsley were much improved after the break.

And Heckingbottom revealed harsh words were exchanged at half-time.

He added: “I thought the players needed a kick up the backside.

“It wasn’t tactical what we spoke about, it was just motivational stuff, telling the lads that we just needed to start taking our chances.

“It was just a case of flicking the switch to ‘on’ really.

“You can see Oxford are a good side. They are a League One team in waiting.

“They were better than us in the first half. They showed a greater tempo, while we were two or three yards off it.

“That’s not us, but we’ve battled back and get the result in the end.

“Thankfully the lads did that to a tee, and now we’ve got one big celebration ahead of us.

“We’ve shown tremendous character in coming from behind, but that’s the mindset these lads have shown all season. They’ve got the ability to fight back from adversity.”

Defeat for Oxford, also chasing their first Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, was tough to take.

But boss Michael Appleton hopes the U’s can still use the result as a motivational tool as they gear up for a final automatic promotion push.

He said: “There’s a huge sense of disappointment in the camp, and a few pivotal moments went against us.

“A lot of teams would have thrown the towel in at 3-1 down, but it shows the character that we’ve got when we go and get back into the game straight away.

“We just needed one more chance.

“We’ve got six massive league games coming up now, so let’s hope the players can be as outstanding as they were here. It’s up to us now.”

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