Daniel Stendel insists he saw plenty of positives despite falling to a 4-1 defeat against Sheffield United in our final pre-season friendly on Saturday.
Barnsley matched their South Yorkshire rivals for much of the contest at Oakwell, but were eventually undone by the Premier League outfit who showed their quality and ruthlessness in front of goal.
“I think this was a good test for us and was a big experience against a really good team; they played very well and we can see, at the moment, we cannot really compete with this team,” said the Reds’ Head Coach.
“We have a lot of work for next time; after last week we said all was well and we played good, but we are very young and have a lot of new players in the squad and we need time and experience – very similar to last season – but this year is in a new league.
“We need to improve, but we like what we are doing and I think they players want to improve and we will.”
Overall, it has been a productive summer for Barnsley. Ten new players have arrived at Oakwell, including the permanent addition of the mercurial Mike Bähre, and performances have gradually improved.
Victories against Stalybridge Celtic, SC Toulon, VfL Bochum and DSC Arminia Bielefeld preceded Saturday’s reversal against United, but it was the Reds’ toughest examination and the eventual 4-1 score line was somewhat harsh on the hosts.
However, Stendel remains optimistic and is looking forward to the Sky Bet Championship campaign getting underway at the weekend when Fulham visit South Yorkshire.
“In this pre-season, it’s the first time that we missed it a little bit but I said to the players it’s just one friendly and, next week, we start the league against Fulham,” continued Stendel. “They’re a Championship club but normally Premier League and we can show next week that we learn very fast.
“I think we want to see what was not good enough against Sheffield United and train like we normally do. We’ll work together in the same direction, in possession and out of possession, and keep our confidence from pre-season and enjoy our start to the Championship.
“This was our goal last season and we achieved it, now we have the chance to play in the Championship and we’re all looking forward to Saturday.”
You can watch Daniel’s full post-match reaction on iFollow Barnsley.