Big match focus: Barnsley v PNE

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom
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MEET THE BOSS: Paul Heckinbotham

The 39-year-old was given the Barnsley job 12 months ago on a caretaker basis after Lee Johnson left to join Bristol City.

Under his stewardship the Tykes won the JPT Trophy at Wembley and returned there the following month to win promotion in the League One play-off final against Millwall.

Heckingbottom was given the job on a permanent basis in the summer, signing a 12-month rolling contract. In his playing career he turned out for Barnsley between 2006 and 2008 – one of 11 clubs he played for.

MEET THE REF: Oliver Langford

The West Midlands referee will be in charge of Preston’s visit to Barnsley on Saturday. This will be the third time that Mr Langford has refereed North End this season, having been in the middle for the 1-0 win over Wigan in September and the January 2 victory at Burton Albion. He has taken charge of 30 games this term, the latest being Bristol City’s 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday in midweek. Mr Langford has issued 99 yellow cards and five red cards.

THIS WEEK...

30 years ago: On January 31, 1987, Preston were beaten 2-0 by Newcastle United in the fourth round of the FA Cup. More than 5,000 North End supporters made the trip to St James’ Park to see them take on the top-flight Magpies. Fourth Division North End pushed them all the way but two second-half goals sank them.

26 years ago: Preston beat Scunthorpe United 4-1 at Glandford Park in the Leyland Daf Cup on January 29, 1991. Brian Mooney found the net twice, with Graham Shaw and Gary Swann also on target.

21 years ago: On January 30, 1996, North End won 2-1 against Darlington at the Feethams. Lee Cartwright and Andy Saville scored for PNE, Saville netting a late winner from the penalty spot on a snowy night.