Barnsley Head Coach Daniel Stendel spoke to the media prior to the trip to face Rochdale. The Reds have had an unbeaten start to life under their new boss in Sky Bet League One, with the only taste of defeat coming away at Blackpool in the Carabao Cup.
Stendel feels his side have started well considering he arrived in the summer and tried to change the entire style of the squad, admitting that it would be difficult for everyone to learn what he wanted straight away.
Assessing the performances of his side in the first few matches, Stendel said: “I think we had a good start to the season with games against Oxford and Bradford. In the Carabao Cup we changed the team a little bit, so it was a little different. In the first half at one-nil we were ok, in the second half Blackpool played the long-ball and it was a new experience for me and for us. In the last game at home against Wimbledon, I think it was a good game from us. Ok, we didn’t win, but we did dominate the match and we tried to score from the first moment. It was very good to see the counter press when we lost the ball and ok again, we did not score, but we are going on our way.
“For sure I hope that we worked very hard in pre-season and changed the style, it’s not possible that we all changed in six weeks, but I think a lot of things we see every game and we develop the team to go on and I think we have good players, a good squad and good staff. Altogether I think and we all hope that we will have a good season.”
Despite being pleased with the new players in a squad that was largely inherited by Stendel and his new-look coaching staff of, Andreas Winkler [Assistant Head Coach] and Chris Stern [First Team Coach], the Head Coach believes his players can improve.
“I think we can improve our build up throughout each position. We want to play on the front foot every game and on the counter attack but it’s not possible every time. We want new chances to find space and chances in every game, it’s small things but I think when we work like this we can play a lot better.”
In previous messages to the press from both Stendel and Winkler, both men have insisted on the Reds playing their style first before thinking about how the opposition play. AFC Wimbledon arrived at Oakwell on Saturday and adopted more of a defensive approach, leaving with a point.
When asked whether he may have to face that often from teams coming to Oakwell, he responded: “Yeah, I think so. The first games showed that we play our style every game and I think our game will not really change, as we want to decide the game. It’s normal that we think our game is the important point in the match, so I think we have enough quality and possibilities to win the games and that was the same on Saturday. Sometimes we don’t score a goal which isn’t a problem, but if I see we play the way we have spoken about before the game then I am satisfied.”
Tuesday night will see a third away trip in August, following matches at Bradford and Blackpool. With one win from the two trips so far, it’s hoped a second win will arrive against a side that the Head Coach describes as a footballing side.
“They are a team that play, all of the time. They play short passes, not a lot of long ball and they are creative with their chances. They show a variation in their formation in the game and before the game as well as pressing very high. They will be a good opponent for us and we are optimistic that we can take the points to Barnsley.”