First Team Coach Matt Rose spoke to the press for the first time since his arrival at Oakwell, ahead of the Barnsley’s clash with Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.
The 44-year-old was appointed as part of Head Coach Gerhard Struber’s backroom staff in November, having previously enjoyed a successful spell with Premier League club Arsenal’s elite academy based in Athens, Greece.
Rose, a prominent defender between 1994 and 2008, made close to 350 league appearances during his 14-year professional career, playing for the likes of Arsenal, QPR and Yeovil Town, before retiring and taking up a coaching role with the Gunners.
Barnsley’s encounter with QPR this weekend will sure be a memorable one for the First Team Coach, after he spent the majority of his career playing in West London with the R’s, racking up a total of 294 appearances in a ten-year spell from 1997 to 2007.
However, despite the many happy memories during his time at Loftus Road, Rose will be fully focussed on getting Barnsley returning to winning ways on Saturday.
“I’ve got great memories,” said the 44-year-old.
“I had 10 good years there. I left by not saying goodbye. I would have liked to have said it a bit better, that was very unfortunate, but you don’t get on with every manager. I had plenty of managers and there was only one I didn’t get along with. It ended quite abruptly, so it’ll be nice to see the fans to come back and hopefully, we’ll get the chance to go to Loftus Road as well, so it’ll be nice to say my own goodbye in my own little way. That said, I want the three points on Saturday.”
Rose has settled well into life at Oakwell so far, and says he received a warm welcome from the team at Barnsley.
“In terms of settling in, it’s been easy. It’s a nice family club, everyone has been very welcoming.
“The players have taken in everything that has been asked for by Gerhard [Struber] and the team.
“Bar the results, things are developing the way we want them to develop. It’s just the results at the end of the day, it’s a results business, so that drives confidence and it drives the atmosphere. In terms of the performance and where we are looking to go, I think it’s been positive.”
He added: “I think when you come into it, it’s hard to fathom what you are coming into. We knew it was a young squad, we knew they needed help and I was surprised they were still as buoyant and confident as they were. I think that comes down to youth and the resilience.
“That’s a positive because as much as they showed disappointment after losing a game, every game they come back as if nothing happened the week before. There’s work to be done for sure, that comes down to Gerhard to bring some faces in, but in the meantime, the players just have to keep on working and keep pressing to fight for their place.
“Bad luck is an overused word at times because over a length of time, the league table doesn’t lie. We have to look at ourselves and think ‘why are we losing games’, individual errors and not doing our jobs properly, they are the things that need to be stopped.”
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Rose wants his Barnsley side to push on and climb out the relegation zone, starting with a win against QPR on Saturday.
The Reds have the opportunity to close up to the teams around them with victory at Oakwell on Saturday, but the 44-year-old believes Barnsley need to remain focussed, after dropping points from winning positions in their last two matches.
“Looking at the games we have been involved in, you look back at them and think ‘how have we not’ come away with more points. From that perspective, if we can tighten up and improve concentration levels, I’m sure we can turn these performances into more points.
“In this league, things are so tight. If you can put one or two wins together, all of a sudden you are bouncing out of that relegation zone. That’s what we’ve got to do, get that win and back it up with another positive result.
“I feel as though that’s what we failed to do after our win against Hull, we needed to go to Cardiff, and we should have got something from the game which would have backed up our win. That would have given us more confidence and then we could have backed it up again here with another win on Wednesday. We need to get the win and back it up with more points as well.”
The Reds host QPR in a 3pm kick-off this Saturday, a match-up Rose is relishing, but he is also well aware of the challenges the R’s will bring to the game.
He said: “They’ve still got good backing. They’ve got great facilities. In [Mark] Warburton, they’ve brought in a manager who is very set in the way he wants to play football. I know Neil Banfield from Arsenal as well; they’ve brought him in as Assistant.
“For sure, they will come here, trying to play their style of football. I’ve been impressed with what they have done from where they were one or two years ago. They were fighting relegation and it looks like they’ve turned a corner apart from a few slip ups lately.”