After seeing his side come from one-goal behind to take three points in their opening match of the Checkatrade Trophy, the Reds’ Head Coach praised the effort and commitment of his young players.
Oldham opened the scoring midway through the first half courtesy of Sam Surridge, before Victor Adeboyejo levelled proceedings just before the break. Second-half substitute George Moncur completed the turnaround, curling into the top corner during the final 10 minutes.
“I think it was a good performance.” Said Stendel. “We have a new team on the pitch with 10 players changed from the last game who hadn’t played too much, as well as being very young. My impression is that we tried to play every time and we came back from 1-0 to Oldham, so I think we deserved to win and the attitude was very good from the team. We had a few little injuries at the end but we showed fight to win the game.
“It's good for him [George Moncur] that he scored, he’s a good player, so we need good offensive players that can score and he did that, so I hope that gives him more confidence for Saturday.”
The Reds played a couple of different formations during the match, as well as handing a first competitive start to Ben Williams and Jacob Brown. Both players, having graduated from the U23s last season, have been in and around the first team squad during pre-season and they occupied the full-back positions on either side at Boundary Park.
“The main point was the improvement,” Stendel commented, reflecting on seeing his side come from behind to win. “I am satisfied with the game and the squad. We improved during the game and we changed the game in terms of the result, with a good attitude, this is what I like. In the second half we tried to play from Jack [Walton], not every ball was a long one so today was a game we could try that. It’s good for the confidence and for the players to know we can do it.
“We have the idea earlier than today,” Stendel replied when asked about players such as Jacob Brown playing in an unfamiliar role. “He’s a good young player in the squad and we believe in him, he can play more positions and right-back is a good position for him. He can attack and run, he can defend and he has a big heart. I think we saw that, so I am happy he’s in the squad.”
Mike Bähre was seen in action for the first time since completing his deadline-day move from Hannover 96. The midfielder occupied a central position, looking neat and composed on the ball before being substituted for match-winner Moncur.
“I think it was a good start from Mike, I spoke with him before the game and everything is new for him. He only had one day of training with the team so it’s not easy but I think he played well, but I know he can play better. He’ll help us this season, I have a lot of trust in him. I’ve known him for six years, I’m happy he’s come to Barnsley. He can play number six, number eight, number 10, on the wing, so he’s very able in his positions and he’s a good option.”
The Reds will be without first-team regulars, Adam Davies and Kenny Dougall when they take on Walsall this weekend. The pair have been called up to represent their countries on international duty. Stendel was pleased to see that he has other options in the side though to take their places.
“At the moment we think it’s a good chance to play for all players and they can show us they should play every week. It makes us think about the XI for the next game, three or four players showed they could play on Saturday. We’ve got injuries, players on internationals so it was good to see the fight and it makes it a difficult decision for Saturday.”