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4 September 2021

Reflecting on the first month of our Sky Bet Championship campaign, Joseph Laumann believes there have been plenty of encouraging signs in the opening weeks.

The Reds have registered six points from five games in August and played some very attractive football in the process, and have shown, when everything clicks, that they can be unplayable on their day.

“It’s quite OK,” discussed Laumann. “We could have done more; we’re not happy with the points – we think we could have a few more points. 

“The way we play, we’re looking forward to having a really good 90 minutes. As we’ve seen against QPR, it was 45 very, very good minutes, but in the second half not that good.

“We’re trying to build to having a good 90 minutes, but we see the boys are doing good and have adapted to the new style of the gaffer. They’re happy with it and the effort is there so, as a coaching staff, we’re happy with how the boys are doing at the minute. 

“It’s just a process for the boys. We have the youngest group in the league, but so far they’re doing great.”

Comparisons will always be drawn to last season as Barnsley finished fifth in the league, reaching the play-offs before cruelly missing out at the hands of Swansea City.

While we captured the imagination of English football supporters for our magnificent underdog story, perhaps the most important thing for this talented group of players was another year’s worth of experience in the Championship.

That additional know-how can only be beneficial, and they will be able to draw on what they learnt during last term’s near-fairytale ending.

“For sure, it was a great season last year and expectations get higher after you finish in the top six,” continued Laumann. “We don’t just look at results – it’s about the development of the players and development of the style we want to play.

“It’s a different style to what we played last season, so it’s going to take a bit of time. But this club is about developing young players and this is our goal.”

One of our latest additions, Claudio Gomes, has been training with his new teammates after joining on loan from Manchester City on deadline day.

The French midfielder is adjusting well to life at Oakwell and Laumann feels that his arrival during the international break is crucial to help aid his transition into the side.

“He’s looking very good – he’s in good shape; I think he just needs to adapt to the way we play and to the lads,” asserted our assistant. “We have a great group of lads who are working with him really well and he’s been doing good.

“It’s always good, when you have new signings, to have a bigger break so we can introduce them to the lads and then work on things in their position, so it gives us a bit of time for them to adapt for their first game.”

Also in the fold are summer recruits Aaron Leya Iseka and Obbi Oularé, who signed for the Reds from Toulouse and Standard Liège, respectively.

The Belgian duo have been away from Oakwell but are gradually getting up to speed as they aim to build their fitness ahead of competitive action.

“They are with us; they’re training and happy to be here,” stated Laumann. “It took them a little while to get their visa, but it’s done now and we’re happy to have them here. They’re doing good in the sessions, so everything is alright now.

“Every player wants to play quickly – we want them to play quickly, to be in the squad. We’ve got to see how they feel because we don’t want to risk any injuries, so we’ll try to make them adapt quickly.”

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