Get the thoughts of Dale Tonge as he previewed the South Yorkshire derby trip to Sheffield Wednesday.
As the transfer window slammed shut at 5pm on Thursday afternoon, Dale Tonge was delighted with the Reds’ summer business, as the club brought in a total of 12 new signings, including two more on deadline day, with the additions of Austrian forward Patrick Schmidt and young left-back Clarke Oduor.
The two new arrivals put pen to paper just days before our trip to local rivals Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, and Tonge was thrilled to have both Schmidt and Oduor on board in time for the weekend.
Schmidt arrives at Oakwell from the Austrian Bundesliga, after impressing at Admira Wacker, where he rose through the ranks as a youngster, before making his mark in the first team, scoring eight goals in his last 17 appearances last season.
Odour also enters the scene after displaying exciting football in the youth setup at Leeds United and signs a four-year deal with the Reds.
Speaking about the two players ahead of the derby clash with Sheffield Wednesday the First Team Coach said: “First and foremost, he [Schmidt] is a good player. The recruitment team have been watching him for a while and we believe the timing was right to bring him in now. He’s a centre forward and different type of player to what we’ve already got.
“He’s very movement based and when he gets the chance, hopefully he’ll start scoring and that’s the reason why we brought him in. Obviously, the style of play is different to what he’s used to, but at the same time, he’s a very intelligent kid, so we’re confident that in a couple of weeks, he will be up to speed with exactly what we want from him.”
He went on to say: “Clarke [Oduor] has massive potential. He can play in quite a few positions and technically he’s right there at the top of the group in terms of his ability on the ball. He is a great talent and I’m sure the fans will really take a liking to him.”
The Reds’ go into Saturday on the back of a fantastic display at home to Fulham, and Tonge believes it’s important for the team to carry over the momentum following the 1-0 victory over the Cottagers’.
“We can take a big bill of confidence from last weekend because not many people thought we could beat Fulham, but we did that and showed we could do it. At the same time, we know on Saturday, it’s going to be a different sort of test and so, it’s up to us to figure out how we can beat them.
“Sheffield Wednesday have a wealth of experience and they have a lot of players who know the league well. They also have some very good individuals and that itself, brings a test of professionalism and understanding of the game, especially in a local derby.
“It’s a great chance for us to see where we are at. From our point of view, we go there with a no fear attitude and hopefully, we can come away with the points.”
It’s been 10 years since the Reds last overcame their South Yorkshire rivals, but with the bragging rights at stake once again, nobody is up for it more than Barnsley-born Tonge.
“I’m really looking forward to the game." Tonge enthused. "I think derbies take their own ways. The start of the match could be massive, if there are tackles flying in left, right and centre, then the game plan could go out of the window, especially with the atmosphere inside the stadium as well, but we’re hopeful that once it starts to settle down, we can influence the match how we want to.”