Andreas Winkler praised the versatility and depth of Barnsley's squad ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup first round tie with Notts County.
The Reds made ten changes from the side that beat Southend United on Saturday for the midweek Checkatrade Trophy encounter with Everton U21s, with a couple of tactical alterations that saw some players playing in unfamiliar roles.
“After this match, we know more that every player has good quality and could be in the squad for a league game,” insisted Winkler
“We want to try something different, but we wanted defence in central midfield so we needed Ben Williams in there. Everyone knows he’s a good defensively with his tackling and he did well. Ryan Hedges could be an option in at left-back, we’ve tried this before and he plays this role a little bit different – he’s more like a wing-back.”
There was also a first start of the campaign for summer recruit Cauley Woodrow on Tuesday night, who had made a cameo appearance off the bench against the Shrimpers.
The striker is working his way back to full fitness and almost got off the mark in emphatic style, but saw his long-range piledriver turned over the bar by Joe Hilton.
“Cauley did well; he’s now in good shape for 45 minutes,” continued the Reds’ Assistant Head Coach.“Maybe he could do 60 minutes in the next game – the gaffer will decide. But we will build him up gradually and we’re happy that he’s now able to be part of the starting line-up.”
Attention now turns to Saturday’s cup clash with Harry Kewell’s Magpies, who are struggling for form in Sky Bet League Two and are without a win since beating Macclesfield Town 1-0 on 6 October.
However, as the old cliché goes, the magic of the cup is unpredictable and Winkler believes Barnsley will have to be focussed to ensure they are not on the end of a famous cup upset at the first hurdle.
“Notts County have a strong side; we think they could do better but they concede a lot of goals,” asserted Winkler. “They also score a lot of goals, too. They try to build up and play football, but I think their problem is that they haven’t found their rhythm – a balance between attack and defence. We need to pay attention.
“The FA Cup is not so different from the German Cup; you have the magic where, if you’re in the lower league, you can win the cup – sometimes it happens. I like the cup because it’s real football and we’re really looking forward to Saturday.
“It’s important because we lost in the Carabao Cup so, except the Checkatrade Trophy, it’s the only cup competition left and we want to go through to the next round.”
You can watch Andreas’ full press conference on iFollow Barnsley.