Barnsley Head Coach Daniel Stendel addressed the media for the first time ahead of our League One curtain raiser against Oxford United on Saturday.
Chief Executive Gauthier Ganaye presented Stendel prior to the press conference and said: “It’s my pleasure to officially introduce Daniel. We could have done this press conference earlier, but we wanted to give Daniel the time to properly assess the team and work with them.
“We wanted him to settle in and I’m happy to say that everyone at the football club – from the owner to every employee – has been helping his integration to go very well, so we are happy. We feel today is the right time to introduce him to you.”
The Reds head into Saturday’s game looking to add to their 11 victories against the U’s, and get the new campaign off to the perfect start.
Stendel has had six weeks to implement his philosophy on the team, and is confident heading into his first competitive match that his side can achieve the desired result.
“I’m aware that you can’t change the whole system during six weeks in pre-season, but I’m satisfied about the improvements that they have made and they have made a huge step from the first day in pre-season to where they are now,” said the Head Coach.
“We want to play attacking football and high-pressing football to keep the ball away from our goal. We want to have the ball as much as possible so we can dictate the game to the opponent and decide whether we win or lose.
“I’m looking forward to the new experience of English football and League One; I’m getting to know the league better every day through pre-match analysis.
“It’s a great experience for me in a foreign country and I’m looking forward to experiencing English football. It’s still up to the team whether it’s a positive or a negative game for us.”
Barnsley will be without Zeki Fryers and Ryan Hedges for the visit of Oxford this weekend after the pair picked up injuries against Salford City and Hull City respectively, while Jacob Brown is also unavailable.
New signing Kenny Dougall is in contention for his competitive debut, having made a positive impression on the Oakwell faithful with a goal inside two minutes against the Tigers in the Reds’ final pre-season outing.
“We watched him for a long time and wanted to sign him,”continued Stendel. “We’re delighted that he’s here for the start of the season.
“I’m looking forward to the first match because Oakwell is a great stadium and we want to try from the first minutes to get the supporters on our side, so we can work as a unit together throughout the season.”
Oxford finished 16th in League One last season, with James Henry and Wes Thomas both helping themselves to ten goals each in the league and 11 in all competitions.
Our Head Coach is wary of the threat posed by Karl Robinson’s side, but is confident that the Reds will be suitably prepared on Saturday.
“We watched them in pre-season and analysed their strengths and weaknesses, but there’s a big difference between pre-season and the main season,”insisted Stendel.
“We watched them play, but it’s still up to us to play the game. We want to focus on our style of play and our game, and also to be aware of their strengths.”