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Winkler: "We don't feel the expectations."

30 August 2018

Ahead of the visit of Gillingham on Saturday, Andreas Winkler says he is pleased with the character shown by his players as they came from 2-0 down to claim a point against Scunthorpe United in their last outing.

Barnsley trailed to goals from Josh Morris and Cameron Burgess before hitting back through Kieffer Moore and Dimitri Cavaré at Glanford Park, ensuring the Reds maintained their unbeaten start to the Sky Bet League One campaign.

“We are very pleased with the reaction of the team,” said Winkler. “We were 2-0 down and weren’t sure how this young squad would handle the situation, but they did very well and I was very happy with the draw.”

The Reds can climb to second this weekend with victory over Gillingham at Oakwell as the table begins to take shape in the opening stages of the season.

However, despite starting the new campaign with a bang, Winkler insists that the pressure of being favourites does not weigh on his players’ minds.

“We don’t feel the expectations; the squad is very happy to play here at Oakwell and show how they can perform at the stadium and in front of the supporters,” continued the Reds’ Assistant Head Coach. “They don’t think about expectation; they just want to play their style for 90 minutes.”

Daniel Stendel experimented tactically during the draw with Scunthorpe, as Cavaré switched to an unorthodox left-back position following the introduction of Jacob Brown.

It turned out to be a masterstroke from our German Head Coach as Cavaré crashed home the leveller with 20 minutes remaining to set-up a grandstand finale in North Lincolnshire.

“Sometimes in a match, if it’s 2-0 or 2-1, you have to be creative and it was just an idea from the coaching staff,” admitted Winkler. “Dimi didn’t really like it, but Daniel told him he could cut inside and five minutes later he scored, so it’s a good option for us.”

Not only has the Guadeloupean defender chipped in with a goal this season, he and his fellow full-backs have also aided Barnsley’s cause with a handful of assists between them.

The Reds’ attacking philosophy gives wide players the licence to bomb forward and exploit opposition defences, resulting in plenty of goal scoring opportunities for grateful forwards.

“We play with high full-backs to put the pressure on the opposition defence, so they’re very important,” continued Winkler. “We have someone who is a good header of the ball playing centre forward, so we need players who are good crossers of the ball.

“They get lots of assists, so you know how important they are. Jacob Brown came back on Saturday and we’re looking forward to having Zeki Fryers back in three weeks. With so many matches in the season, we can’t just rely on Dimi and Dani.”

You can watch Andreas' full press conference on iFollow Barnsley.

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