First Team Coach assumes media duties with Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom attending a family engagement.
Barnsley first team Coach Jamie Clapham feels this weekend’s opponents Preston North End will provide another stern test for the Reds.
With Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom attending a family engagement, Clapham took over media duties at this morning's press conference.
Despite putting on a battling display against Wolves in midweek, the Reds suffered a Championship defeat at Oakwell for the first time since November.
Clapham believes the Reds must another strong showing, similar to the one they put on against Rotherham, to get a result against a stubborn Lilywhites side.
He said, “They’ve had a really good season, the style that they play, they have good individuals that can hurt you and they’re good on the counter attack as well. Like I’ve said, they change formation within a game and we have to be wary of that. We have a new group of players and it’s back to basics with them and teach them how to play against each system in our style. There will be a couple more strange results as players try to settle in at other clubs but hopefully we can get our lads settled in really quickly here.
“They (Preston) beat Brighton and did well against Arsenal in the FA Cup and they’ve drawn a couple of games. They can be direct at times and they change their system in the game, they have good individuals and I expect a good game of football. No matter who you play, every game is tough. We went to Rotherham last week and it was tough and it was a totally different game, it was a battle and we won it 1-0. This is going to be no different on Saturday.”
Reflecting on the midweek performance, Clapham praised the energy levels of the players for battling right until the very end, especially after being reduced to ten-men.
He praised his side’s effort but insisted they must continue to look forward and not let the midweek defeat affect the players.
He added, “We don’t need to dwell on what’s gone, the players that are here now are the ones we have to focus on. I thought apart from the sending off, we played extremely well. We had the clearer chances, it’s the fine details, two set plays we’re disappointed with and we were caught with a sucker punch on the counter. We kept going right until the end and you can’t fault any player for that.”
Aidy White and Saidy Janko are both currently out of action through injury, but Janko is nearing a return to the side.
Clapham gave the latest on the injury front and when the duo can be expected back.
He said, “I’ve had a meeting with the medical staff, but I’m not going to say anything at the minute, it’s just unfortunate because he’s (Aidy White) just got back into the side and fit. He’s a great lad like everyone else, they all want to get fit and get the shirt back on because they can see it’s an exciting time for Club and we’ll do our best to get him back as soon as we can.
“Saidy has been in a similar situation, he’s had a few little niggles here and there, but what we have to do and have to be careful of is making sure they’re robust enough to withstand the rigours of this division. It’s a tough league and you can see the tempo on the style of which we want to play and everybody has to be at 100 percent to play that way. He’s someone who will still be a couple of weeks I’d suggest but he’s working extremely hard to get back in.
“In my time here, I’ve asked about certain players because I haven’t seen much of them. He hit the scene really well with the wonder-strike (Wolves away), but unfortunately got injured, came back and got injured again. At this moment in time, he’s not available for selection.”
Since arriving in September, Clapham has been impressed with the Reds’ form in the Championship and how they have adapted to life in the division following promotion last season.
He added that as management staff, everyone must continue to provide the players with as much positive energy as they can as they bid to finish in the play-off places.
Clapham said, “There’s no questioning the rise that the Football Club has had, when I was at Coventry, they were bottom of the table having suffered their eighth defeat on the bounce, you wondered what Barnsley were going to do. Then they went on a run and got some momentum, the manager left because he was sought after and Paul got his chance and they haven’t looked back. They’ve won a cup final, they won the play-offs and we’re eighth in the Championship at this moment in time and clubs are looking at the players.
“There’s rumours about all of the players so it will just be nice to have a few months between now and the end of the season where we can just concentrate on us, work really hard and show it’s a team to be proud of. You always have to be positive, that’s what we instil into the players, we’re always looking forward and the staff are always positive.
“We give them instructions to go out and do and the players don’t fail to deliver. They go out there and work their socks off, it’s a really good environment to work in."
The Reds brought in Callum Elder and Ryan Hedges on deadline day from Leicester City and Swansea City respectively.
Clapham gave the reasoning behind why the Club decided to bring in Elder and Hedges and assessed the transfer window as a whole.
He said, “Ryan is an exciting talent and we had a look at him when he had a loan spell. He’s quick, dynamic, and whenever we sign players, we look for that athleticism and the pace and speed.
“We play at a high tempo and we need players to come in and be able to take that forward and we see both of those players as that. I don’t think there was any player not linked with a move away, and that is just testament to every player that goes out there and puts on the shirt. It’s not just about any individual, it’s about the team. Everybody gives 100 per cent for the shirt week-in week-out and you could see that on Tuesday.
“Everybody wants the same thing, new players have now come into the team and we need to make sure they’re up to speed as quickly as possible and then we’ll be looking forward to the game on Saturday. We work within certain parameters at the football club and we want certain types of players and there might have been one or two there but they didn’t come. We’re happy with what we have, we’re really looking forward to the rest of the season and we’re in a position where we can look forward rather than behind, similar to Preston."
You can watch the full interview with Jamie Clapham on Barnsley Player HD!
Tickets are still available for the match against Preston at Oakwell this weekend. CLICK HERE to buy yours now!