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Winkler: "We won't underestimate them."

17 January 2019

Barnsley travel to AFC Wimbledon this weekend aiming to extend their unbeaten Sky Bet League One run to seven games.

The Reds are one of the in-form teams in the division with 14 points from their last six outings and will be looking to continue their assault on the automatic promotion places at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.

Assistant Head Coach Andreas Winkler believes his side have learnt from their mistakes in defeats this season and are close to producing more consistent and emphatic performances.

“I think we’re very close; we’re very happy with the players, the squad and how they’ve been performing in matches – especially at Oakwell,” said Winkler. “We’re also really happy after this period because we hadn’t been playing at our highest level, but we’ve come back now and it looks like our experiences have been important for us.”

Barnsley head into this clash with the Dons on the back of a sensational Yorkshire derby victory over Bradford City, with Jacob Brown, Kieffer Moore and Alex Mowatt sealing a 3-0 win at Oakwell.

The division’s most frugal defence will meet League One’s least-potent attack on Saturday, but Winkler is expecting a stern encounter against an AFC Wimbledon side rooted to the foot of the table.

“We expect a really hard fight on Saturday; they defend as a group and play very direct to their centre forwards,” continued the Reds’ Assistant. “There’s a lot of experience in their squad.

“It’s not Bradford at home – Bradford are a strong side and had a good run – and now we have to show the same performance away and play at that level, which is not always easy. We have to be humble and make the players aware that every point in this league is hard to win. We won't underestimate them.

“We can put the pressure on Wimbledon from the first minute – that’s our style. We can do it differently from the last match on Oakwell against Bradford. We need to be switched on from the first second, put pressure on them and show that it’s really hard to play against us whether at home or away.”

One player in particular who has excelled in recent weeks is Cameron McGeehan. The dynamic midfielder has put in a number of assured performances from the centre of the park and his hard work has not gone unnoticed by the coaching staff.

The 23-year-old has been integral to Barnsley’s promotion push and Winkler reserved special praise for the Reds’ number eight.

“I’m very happy with him because he works so hard in training and is so focussed on what he is doing,” acclaimed Winkler. “His improvement has been great and he can either play in holding midfield to sit in front of our back four and he can also score goals – we like to have players in the squad who can score.

“In the periods that he didn’t play, we showed him that he’s important for the squad. We like him as a player and also as a person, but he has a great character and is working really hard. He asks me after training if we can do some more work with him for a couple of minutes. You can only bring out the best in a player if he has the ambition to do that.

“I’m really happy to have a player like Cam McGeehan in the squad with this personality, because this is really professional.”

You can watch Andreas’ full press conference on iFollow Barnsley.

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