Barnsley Head Coach Daniel Stendel praised his players and coaching staff following the Reds’ promotion from Sky Bet League One.
After a gruelling 46-game campaign, the Club made an immediate return to the second tier and played a breath-taking brand of football in the process – earning a reputation as one of the division’s great entertainers.
“It’s a long season and we weren’t expecting to get promoted automatically on Tuesday,” said Stendel, speaking after our final game at Bristol Rovers. “I think we deserved this promotion because we played a great season with a lot of good games, and we’re all very proud of our performances. The players deserve credit, but my staff as well – they all worked together and were fantastic.
“After a long, hard season for us, it’s the success that we deserve and I’m very proud of my team, staff and everyone at our Club that we can achieve this goal for the supporters. It’s a great, great feeling.”
Stendel also eulogised our incredible supporters, who have followed us the length and breadth of the country, while playing a huge part at fortress Oakwell as the all-important 12th man this season.
Reds fans have turned out in their droves home and away, and our Head Coach has been overwhelmed by the unwavering dedication since a ball was first kicked back in August.
“It’s a big support for us in every game and it’s a long way to come [to Bristol Rovers], especially because we were promoted before,” continued Stendel. “It’s a big part for us that we are well-supported every game and I’m so happy about this.
“We hoped that we could win the game; we started very well and went 1-0 in front. After that, we played well but, after the red card it was difficult. Some decisions didn’t go for us, but it doesn’t matter – we are promoted and that was the goal. Congratulations to Luton for the title – they deserve the title – and we’ll see them next season in the Championship.”
Since taking over at Oakwell in the summer, he insists that his side have made improvements as the campaign has worn on – particularly in the final third.
And while the team are still soaking up their success this term, Stendel admits he already has one eye on the future and the challenge provided by Championship football.
“At the moment, we will celebrate this season,” said the German. “Then we will recover and start again, and I’m looking forward to next season with the big clubs and the big stadiums. It’s a big task next season to stay in that division, but I’m confident we can do it.
“I think what we have improved most over the season is to take more attacking risks; by doing that you can have more success and the main point for me is that we can decide the game.”