Daniel Stendel was ‘proud’ of his team, after seeing them defeat Blackpool at Oakwell.
With league tables and fixtures being studied up and down the country and calculators working out permutations of each result, Stendel was acutely aware of the fact that his team needed to remain focused on our match rather than seeing what was happening elsewhere.
“The expectations were very high before the game, I had to say to the players that this atmosphere was ok before the game, but once we start the game we need to focus on the match as just a normal game and show the best performance we can.
“After Blackpool went 1-0 up, we created lots of chances and I think overall we deserved to win the game. I’m very happy with the performance and proud that the team could show that in a tough situation.”
The winning goal came from Liam Lindsay, who nodded in Cameron McGeehan’s corner on 59 minutes. The centre-back has been desperate to net all season, with this being his first, but undoubtedly one of the most important for the Reds throughout the campaign.
“This was the big surprise for us on the bench,” Stendel answered, when being asked about Lindsay scoring. “We celebrated in the dressing room after the game for our centre backs, they are so good at defending but there are also chances in the offence. It was not our idea that it would take 45 games for him to score, but to win with that goal, I am so happy!”
Following the match, Stendel did admit to checking other scores, but when questioned on the following week of the season and the final day, again he was just in the mindset of focusing on his own side with their destiny being in their own hands.
“We can only influence our game and our results.” He stated. “The other teams have played so well, but on the other side, we have one game left and we need a similar performance to get a win at Bristol Rovers, then we can make sure we are promoted automatically. We’re happy with our game and results elsewhere, but as usual, the focus is on us.
“We play for automatic promotion,” was the next answer from Stendel, after being questioned further about being level on points with Luton Town and the possibility of finishing in top spot. “Second is fine, we just want to go up. We have the chance to decide the end of our season with our own game and that’s the best situation for us. After 45 games, that’s the best thing for us and the players deserve this.”
There was a slight negative, with Jacob Brown going off injured, so the Gaffer gave an update.
“We have no information at the moment, he came off precautionary and we hope he can play next week, but we will know more during the week.”
This all-important victory meant that the Reds had gone a full season at Oakwell unbeaten. That’s a huge achievement and means so much to the fans, Stendel was fully aware of what his players had produced on the pitch and was proud to have this record.
“We are a fortress at home! We have developed power with our supporters, we have so much confidence here and we know we could win every game. We came back from behind today, this has happened before too, when you can win your home games most the time it is usually a good option.
“I didn’t know how long the record was since we last did this, 50 years is a long time, I’m very proud. It’s the result of hard work and a good attitude, it’s team work and I am happy we have such a good team and staff in the background who have worked a long time, giving their all for the team. All employees at the club are hardworking, they all deserve this along with our fantastic fans. We now go to Bristol to try and complete our work.”