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Barnsley looking to recover from tumultuous start - Interview
Monday, 26th Oct 2020 16:32 by Clive Whittingham

There was plenty of optimism around Barnsley after their flying finish and miracle escape in 2019/20, but the departure of influential manager Gerhard Struber has everything up in the air again. We spoke to Joe Beardsall about the current state of play...

You came back strong in lockdown and performed a miracle escape, albeit aided by the Wigan situation. What changed? How did you do it?

Staying up took incredible effort and determination from all the lads but it’s obvious Gerhard Struber’s leadership played a huge part in pulling off the great escape. His belief that we could achieve what looked impossible at times certainly rubbed off on the players and by the end we had gone from a team void of ideas and confidence to a side who dominated games against sides like Leeds and Brentford.

Struber’s departure, talking about lack of ambition, what’s the inside story here? Classic manager wants more money to spend or what?

Many Barnsley fans will tell you the board didn’t back Gerhard Struber enough and that’s why he decided to leave and with the fact he mentioned a lack of ambition in his final interview it’s hard to argue against that not being one of the reasons he chose to go to New York Red Bulls. In my opinion, he did receive a decent amount of backing, bringing in five signings that he wanted but it’s hard for a small club like Barnsley to compete in the Championship so I can understand why he felt he needed more and I do feel the board could’ve backed him further with a striker. It’s also worth mentioning going to manage New York Red Bulls is a pretty good gig so even if the owners had backed him more he would’ve still had a big decision to make.

The transfer strategy seemed to slip straight back from European to lower league immediately after his departure, was that a source of tension?

I don’t think our clubs transfer policy has changed drastically since Struber left. I think the owners now realise we need a bit more experience in the side hence why they have brought in Matty James on loan but are sticking to the same method of buying young, rough diamonds and hoping to develop them into top quality footballers.

Ins >>> Herbie Kane, 21, CM, Liverpool, £1.3m >>> Michal Helik, 22, CB, Crocovia (Poland) £720k >>> Dominik Frieser, 26, RW, LASK (Austria), £720k >>> Callum Brittain, 22, RB, MK Dons, Undisclosed >>> Jack Aitchison, 22, CF, Celtic, Undisclosed >>> Isaac Christie-Davies, 22, AM, Liverpool, Free >>> Matty James, 29, CM, Leicester, Loan

Outs >>> Jacob Brown, 22, RW, Stoke, £1.98m >> Mallik Wilks, 21, LW, Hull, Undisclosed >>> Cameron McGeehan, 25, CM, Oostende, Undisclosed >>> Toby Sibbick, 21, RB, Oostende, Loan >>> Samuel Sahin-Radlinger, 27, GK, SV Ried (Austria), Free >>> Dani Pinillos, 27, LB, Released >>> Mamadou Thiam, 25, CF, Released >>> Kenny Dougall, 27, DM, Blackpool, Free >>> Jordan Green, 25, RW, Southend, Loan >>> Matty Wolfe, 20, CM, Notts County, Loan >>> Jack Aitchison, 20, CF, Stevenage, Loan >>> Marcel Ritzmaeir, 27, CM, Rapid Vienna, Loan >>> Bambo Diaby, 22, CB, Released/Banned

How did your transfer window go overall?

If you had asked me how the transfer window was going the day before deadline day you might have made me cry but with hours to go the club did some fantastic business. On deadline day we kept Cauley Woodrow who signed a new deal, signed Herbie Kane who’s certainly a promising player and brought in Matty James on loan to add some experience. We didn’t get the striker we all hoped for but considering young defender Callum Brittan also looks a real talent I’m going to say a 7/10 in terms of transfers.

What have you made of your start to the season?

Our start to the season was terrible but I think a big part of that was the uncertainty around Gerhard Struber’s future. Now that’s behind us we have started to get some positive results against strong teams so once our new head coach Valérien Ismaël gets his feet under the table I think we will push up the table.

Barnsley’s league results so far…
Barnsley 0-1 Luton Collins 71
Reading 2-0 Barnsley Meite 67, Olise 76
Barnsley 0-0 Coventry
Boro 2-1 Barnsley Howson 45, Akpom 48 – Woodrow pen 89
Barnsley 2-2 Bristol City Helik 2, Woodrow pen 90 – Hunt 47, Bakinson 51
Stoke 2-2 Barnsley Campbell 44, Smith 48 – Simoes 18, Frieser 45
Millwall 1-1 Barnsley Cooper 45 – Mowatt 44

Links >>> Barnsley Official Website >>> Yorkshire Post – Local Press >>> Sheffield Star – Local Press >>> BBS Fan Forum – Message Board >>> Reds Report – Podcast

The Twitter @JosephBeardsall, @loftforwords

Pictures – Action Images

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TacticalR added 18:21 - Oct 27
Thanks to Joe.

Losing a manager right at the beginning of the season is quite a blow, but it looks like Barnsley are gradually picking up steam.

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