Barnsley still fighting, but lacking Championship smarts - Interview
Thursday, 12th Mar 2020 14:30 by Clive Whittingham
Thanks to the guys at the Reds Report podcast for their input on Saturday's opponents Barnsley who won three in a row through february but have regressed since and just seem to lack that little bit of Championship nouse following promotion.
Why have Barnsley struggled so much on return to the Championship?
Many Barnsley fans will tell you that it is not only the lack of experience in this young side but also the inability to bounce back from a defeat. After winning three in a row with three clean sheets during February we've lost two without scoring against Reading and Cardiff and both displays were very much below par.
You looked dead and buried when the change of manager came, but there has been a rally of sorts since then, so what has Gerhard Struber changed?
Besides the formation, the new gaffer seems to be able to get the best out of the players available. Unsure if it is a worry or revelation but quite a few players are playing out of their natural positions but it has to be said that that the football at times is wonderful to watch. There are worse teams than us they just know how to win ugly or draw a match
Barnsley league results so far…
Would you keep him on for next season, even if you go down?
I think for the board’s "vision" of longevity you have to stick with him but at the same time support him in providing a better mix of experience / youth.
Three wins in a row through February, including that shock 3-0 at Fulham, but now two defeats without scoring, why has that momentum faded? How are you playing coming into this week’s game?
The general feeling is that this group of young lads perhaps mentally struggle with getting over these defeats and below par displays.
Player of the season candidates?
Cauley Woodrow provides goals when most needed. Connor Chaplin, fox in the box, who scored a hat trick in the first game between us this season. Alex Mowatt, captain who leads from the front ( well, midfield) but has shown good quality. All three have a never say die attitude.
Summer Ins: Luke Thomas, 20, RW, Derby, £1.2m >>> Patrick Schmidt, 21, CF, Admira Wacker, £1m >>> Malik Wilks, 20, LW, Leeds, £900k >>> Mads Juel Anderson, 21, CB, Horsens (Denmark), £900k >>> Aapo Halme, 21, CB, Leeds, £200k >>> Toby Sibbick, 20, RB, Wimbledon, £200k >>> Mike Bahre, 23, AM, Hannover, £135k >>> Brad Collins, 22, GK, Chelsea, Free >>> Samuel Sahin-Radlinger, 26, GK, Hannover, Free >>> Conor Chaplin, 22, CF, Coventry, Undisclosed >>> Bambo Diaby, 21, CB, Lokeren (Belgium), Undisclosed >>> Clarke Oduor, 20, LB, Leeds, Undisclosed
Summer Outs: Ethan Pinnock, 26, CB, Brentford, £3m >>> Kieffer Moore, 26, CF, Wigan, £2.6m >>> Liam Lindsay, 23, CB, Stoke, £2m >>> Adam Davies, 26, GK, Stoke, Free >>> Victor Adeboyego, 21, CF, Bristol Rovers, Loan >>> Ryan Hedges 23, RW, Aberdeen, Free >>> Adam Jackson, 25, CB, Hibs, Free >>> Zeki Fryers, 26, LB, Swindon, Free >>> Lloyd Isgrove, 26, LW, Released >>> George Miller, 21, CF, Scunthorpe, Loan
Winter Ins: >>> Michael Sollbauer, 29, CB, Wolfsberger (Austria), £450k (joint fee) >>> Marcel Ritzmaier, 26, CM, Wolfsberger, £450k (joint fee) >>> Kilian Ludewig, 19, RB, RB Salzburg, Loan
Winter Outs: >>> Dimityri Cavare, 25, RB, Sion, Undisclosed >>> Dylan Mottley Henry, 22, RW, Bradford, Free >>> Victor Adeboyejo, 21, CF, Bristol Rovers, Loan >>> Cameron McGeehan, 24, CM, Portsmouth, Loan >>> Malik Wilks, 21, LW, Hull, Loan >>> Jordan Green, 24, RW, Newport, Loan >>> Toby Sibbick, 20, RB, Hearts, Loan
Weak links in the side?
No specific players, just probably the mentality and lack of Championship experience. Individual mistakes in the defence seemed to subside after giving Mads Anderson a rest. There's no doubt he plays to the best of his ability, but these little mistakes are instantly punished in a division like this.
Tough fixtures to come, particularly the last three. Presumably the Stoke, Luton and Wigan fixtures are the ones you’re hanging it all on?
Yes, the most crucial 3 matches in the remainder of the season. Wigan seem to have gone on a little run, Middlesborough are struggling as are Luton(and us). taking points directly of those teams around us is key but we are still hopeful that others will slip up. ( who knows, a 12 point deduction for our Sheffield Neighbours could prove to be interesting in the relegation battle)
Barnsley’s remaining league games…
Do you think you’ll stay up, and what will be the consequences if you don’t? Is the club positioned to bounce straight back again?
The table doesn't lie. Good football does not guarantee you points. We tend to play better against footballing sides with a similar philosophy. Against the more physical "hoof the ball" teams such as Birmingham, Wednesday we have struggled. The board’s long term plan of developing young talented players from the lower leagues and selling them on with a profit sounds really good but the Championship is a tough league. Looking at the sides in the top half of the table there is a wealth of experience and youth. The philosophy might work on a profit and loss sheet but it certainly has not proven to work in the league. Whilst we hold the record of the club who's spent most of their time in the second tier with parachute payments to Premier League clubs who are now playing in this division it will take more than just a team of young hungry players to make our mark in this division. The worry would be that we end up like teams like Sunderland and are unable to get out of League 1. Without Woodrow, Mowatt, Chaplin we would struggle in League 1. Whilst they might be able to be sold for a profit, on the pitch their character and experience is priceless.
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