Andreas Winkler praised Barnsley’s strength in depth following our penalty shootout victory over Everton U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy on Wednesday evening.
The Reds claimed two points to tighten their grip on second place in Northern Group F and now require only a draw against Bradford City next week to secure safe passage to the knockout phase.
“We are really satisfied with the boys; some players didn’t play in the positions that they are used to playing, but they did a good job,” insisted Winkler.
“Some players came back from long injuries, like Zeki, and did really well. We conceded a goal from a set-piece, but not from open play. We won on penalties in the end – Adam made two great saves – and we are satisfied.
“It was good to know that the players can perform like that because some players really needed game time, and now the coaching staff knows that everyone in the squad can play in a competitive match.”
Ryan Hedges gave Barnsley a first half lead before the visitors hit back through Bassala Sambou’s header after the interval.
Having made ten changes from the side that beat Southend United on Saturday, Winkler was thrilled with the players who came into the starting line-up – particularly Hedges, who starred in an unfamiliar left-back role.
“I don’t think he was too delighted to play left-back, but there was a plan behind that,” admitted the Reds’ Assistant Head Coach. “By having him there we could think more offensively than defensive and his goal was very good; we’re very happy for him.
“We take every competition seriously and we’re looking forward to getting to the next stage if we can. If you have a big, strong squad like we have, it’s good for game time and everything is good for the players’ self-confidence.
“On one hand, we’re very happy with the strength of the squad and Cauley Woodrow is back – he played for 45 minutes. On the other hand, every player knows it’s hard now to even get on the bench; you have to show a good performance in every training session, but this is what we need to stay high up in the league.”