Barnsley's unbeaten start to the Sky Bet League One campaign ended in the Midlands yesterday afternoon and Daniel Stendel felt his side had only themselves to blame.
The Sky Blues became the first club to beat The Reds in the league this season when Jordan Willis' header with little over 10 minutes of yesterday's game remaining put paid to that terrific start to 2018/19.
With their own chances spurned and some uncharacteristically nervy defending at times, Barnsley FC's Head Coach, Daniel Stendel described his mood as 'dissatisfied' when he faced the press after the match.
“First of all I think we gave Coventry too many chances to score,” said Stendel.
“We also had our own big chances but in all the other games I don’t think the opponent had anything like that many chances.
“And that is for me the reason we lost.
“We weren’t so good defensively, nowhere near where we’ve been in other games. The reality is we weren’t defending together, as a team.”
The home side played a high line and had a lot of speed in attacking positions, something that the Reds struggled to contain, particularly in the second half.
Stendel explained during his post-match interviews that whilst his side weren't at their best as a unit, they made life harder for themselves, especially with attacking and defensive set-play opportunities.
He told us: “Our pressing wasn’t the best either. It was too easy for the opposition to play through our first line. And particularly in the second half there was too much space for them to play.
“We had too big a gap between the back and the front lines.
“This was too much space for them to play on the counter attack, and there they create too many chances.
“We were punished by a set-piece again. It’s very frustrating and it’s something we’ve discussed not just for this game but in the future, that we must improve our defending of set-pieces.
“It’s not just one player or one mistake. We had enough opportunities to clear the ball. But it isn’t only defending them, I look at the number of our own that we have again.
“So many free-kicks and corner kicks we have every week and we must make this more dangerous for the opposition. I’m dissatisfied with our set-piece work today.”
Amongst a handful of missed opportunities was a terrific early opening for youngster Jacob Brown, making his first league start for the Reds.
Following on from his impressive recent showings against Oldham and Scunthorpe, Stendel gave the young forward his chance in a wide right, attacking role.
The Reds' gaffer wasn't critical of Brown and believes Barnsley win together and lose together.
“We had the chances to score for ourselves. The one-on-one with the goalkeeper for Jacob Brown, one or two other efforts.
“It was his first game in the starting XI and he’s a young player and it isn’t his fault that we lost the game.
“It’s a team and we are all together.
“We gave Jacob the chance today because we know Coventry play with a high defensive line and felt we could exploit that with pace. Had we won today with our chances, we would be saying it was the best decision.
“In Germany we say ‘all together on one note’ and so every player has their part in today’s result and so we stand up together and we go into the next game.”
With a full week to get back out and onto the training ground in preparation for the visit to Oakwell of Burton Albion next Saturday, Daniel told us that it's still early days, not just in this season but into his tenure.
He does believe however that his side will learn from yesterday's result and hopefully respond accordingly in the upcoming fixtures.
He said: “It’s only the eighth game of a long season. There’s a long way to go and it’s not going to be easy. But we hope that we improve from this.
“Other teams lose today, we remain in third position and it’s been a satisfying start.
“We will work harder and harder on the training pitch and in the next games we hope to show ourselves in a better way.”
Subscribers can watch a full, post-match interview with Daniel Stendel over on iFollow Barnsley.