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Interviews

TONDA ECKERT ON HATTERS TEST

16 August 2021

We got the thoughts of our Assistant Coach ahead of the visit of Luton Town.

ON HIS JOURNEY TO OAKWELL

“I was working in Salzburg and I met Gerhard Struber, I was working with the U18s, so we got to know each other. Then we went in separate ways, I went to Bayern and then one day he got in touch and asked me if I wanted to join him here. 

“To come to England was an ambition, it’s the motherland of football, so it was an easy decision for me. 

“It was a short journey with Gerhard, but I hope it continues to be a long and successful one with Barnsley. Last season was such an amazing campaign.

“It’s a special environment, football. You build great relationships with staff, with the players and you all enjoy the journey together, the emotions, the highs and lows.”

RELATIONSHIP WITH THE GAFFER

“We’ve got very similar ideas and it’s been pleasurable to work with him so far. We’ve not changed too much. We are trying to introduce little things here and there. But this club has a way of playing, with our high-intensity play. 

“But it’s little things we do with the ball, in possession, that’s where we would like to change things where we can and I think that’ll be a process that will improve as we move forward.

“I’m happy to be working for the club, I’m glad that I can carry on and keep providing support to the gaffer.”

ON FANS RETURN

“You wouldn’t have thought - if you’d closed your eyes - that in the play-offs against Swansea that there were just 4,000 fans in the stadium. It was incredible, so I knew the Barnsley crowd would be right behind us on Saturday.

“They were great, they definitely helped drag us over the line in that game, and I’m sure they’ll be a big benefit for us over the season, they understand what we’re trying to do here.”

THE CHALLENGE OF LUTON

“Luton was my first game last season, it’s a strong team, great structure and they have a very good manager. He’s done incredibly well in two spells with the club.

“They’ve scored five goals already, so they’re strong offensively. They fought back well against West Brom at the weekend and we’re expecting another tough battle.”

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