Paul Heckingbottom admitted to hating Leeds United, but he really rates Samu Saiz

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom looks on during the The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay between Barnsley and Blackpool at Oakwell Stadium on January 17, 2017 in Barnsley, England.

Leeds United are set to appoint Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom in the near future.

Paul Heckingbottom manager of Barnsley during the pre season friendly at Oakwell Stadium between Barnsley and Huddersfield Town on July 22, 2017 in Barnsley, England.

Paul Heckingbottom once told the Yorkshire Evening Post that he ‘hated’ Leeds United growing up and that the size of the Yorkshire club’s support is always ‘rammed down your throat’.

Leeds are on the verge of appointing Heckingbottom from Barnsley, as they seek a replacement for Thomas Christiansen.

And Heckingbottom’s comments from earlier this season are sure to come back to haunt him now.

“It (Leeds) was always my favourite one [derby],” he said.

“When I was growing up, where I was from, you were a Barnsley fan or a Leeds fan when you played in the field behind my house.

Samu Saiz of Leeds United(C) celebrates his sides second goal with team mates during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Leeds United at Ashton Gate on October 21, 2017...

“It was Leeds against Barnsley and the Leeds lads were always older than us and always used to kick smoke out of us. We hated Leeds and they hated us and that is how it was.

“You understand the support they have got and the size of the club and the tradition as it was always rammed down your throat with them bragging about it.

“It is a team everyone loves to hate, but a big club with a big tradition. It is a big derby for us.”

Leeds beat Barnsley at Oakwell earlier this campaign, in what was one of the Whites’ best performances of the season.

Samuel Saiz of Leeds United scores the second goal of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Leeds United at City Ground on August 26, 2017 in...

Leeds ran out as comfortable winners over Heckingbottom’s side, and it was Samu Saiz who caught the expected Leeds boss’s eye on that occasion.

"He [Saiz] is a good player isn't he? Nine times out of 10 if you ask Joe where he's going to be then he'd be there [marking Leeds man] but then Saiz is just going stand somewhere else,” he said to the BBC a few months ago.

“Leeds showed that they got some quality players today.”

Leeds have turned to Heckingbottom after parting company with Christiansen.

The Whites’ form has been poor over recent weeks, and a 4-1 defeat against Cardiff City proved to be the end for Christiansen.

Leeds are currently down in 10th place in the Championship table, eight points away from the play off places.

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