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10 September 2020



10 September 2020

Defender Michael Sollbauer looked ahead to Saturday's first league game of the 20/21 season, declaring the Reds were ready to 'climb the mountain'.

After being pivotal in the Reds' fight for survival last season, Michael Sollbauer believes the picture must change for Barnsley moving forward.

He spoke to the press ahead of the season-opener with Luton Town, suggesting that the club must now focus on higher ambitions.

“I’m very excited for the new season," he told us.

"It’s a great opportunity to get off to a great start at Oakwell.

“We have big goals. 

“We want to climb the mountain; we start at base camp on Saturday. 

“It will be game-by-game. We aren’t making bold claims. But of course, we don’t want a repeat of last season.”

Regularly amongst pundits' picks for a relegation scrap, there's been a change this summer with many so-called experts predicting better things for the Reds.

Based no doubt on our thrilling end-of-season great escape and the football played under Gerhard Struber.

'Sole' admits that whilst Barnsley aren't expected to surprise people, they are here to compete.

He explained, telling us: “As a squad, a team, as staff, we all came together last season and achieved our short-term goal. Now, we kick on and progress. 

“We aren’t here to make up the numbers. 

“Whilst we are one of the smaller clubs at this level, in terms of finances and fighting many teams with Premier League money and players, we showed last year we can compete with anyone.”



10 September 2020

In terms of our first opponents this weekend at Oakwell, it's a familiar one in Luton Town.

The Hatters themselves battled their way through an unexpected survival mission, and Michael accepts it will be a challenge on Saturday, but that the Reds are confident in getting the perfect result on matchday one.

“Luton play very compact, they have good moments in transition and they showed last season that they are in a good place right now. 

“It will be a tough game, we expect this. 

“But if we work hard as a team then I believe we have the players to win us this game.

“Our players know they’re good enough. The belief is there now, and the experience.”

Barnsley added another defender this week, with Struber recruiting Polish centre half Michal Helik. 

Sollbauer was asked if he welcomed the competition, and acknowledged that fighting for your position should be welcomed, not feared.

“It is obvious that in the Championship you have many players capable in the squad. 

“But I am confident in myself and my abilities.

“I have the experience, I have the success, I feel good. But competition is really important and only helps push you as a player.

“Michal has great experience and success in Poland at a good level and he will add more quality to our squad. I enjoyed our first session together in training.”

Michael finished by reflecting on the 'great escape' and admitting that whilst it was the highlight of his career so far, there was an element missing.

There was also the added struggle of being away from his young family in a foreign country to contend with.

“It was a hard time, coming into a new country and with the COVID situation also. I was separated from my family. 

“But I worked hard, I focused on the goal and it has been the best decision in my football career to come to Barnsley.

“I have made memories that will last forever, we had such a special end of the season and the only thing missing was our supporters.

“It’s become normal now, playing without them in the stadium, but it is not the same and I hope this is soon to end because football is nothing without fans.”

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