Andreas Winkler has praised the response and reactions of all involved after last Saturday’s League One fixture against Burton was cancelled after a Barnsley volunteer collapsed just before kick-off. Stephen Croft, who helps out with mascots and flag bearers on match day, was airlifted to hospital after the incident. He is now recovering. Winkler said, “His recovery is the best news of the week. People like Stephen mean a lot to football clubs, we hope to see him back at Oakwell soon.” He also thanked both sets of fans and Burton for their cooperation and understanding. He said, “Everyone’s behaviour was good. It was special to see.”

Assistant coach Winkler believes that Barnsley will be ready and are excited for the match against Fleetwood today, despite having the two-week rest. Although some fans have voiced concerns about squad fitness, Winkler was confident that the squad have done enough in training to maintain fitness. He said, “We have had the whole squad playing 11v11 matches since Wednesday. Training intensity has been high; we are ready.”

Aggressive Fleetwood

Winkler believes Barnsley have ‘a lot of options’ to help stop Fleetwood. He said, “They are aggressive, and high in individual quality. The manager is very aggressive and this shows in the team. We are unsure of their plan, and expect a tough match; we have different plans for how they choose to set up.” Manager Daniel Stendel attended the Scunthorpe versus Fleetwood match at the start of the season and knows exactly what they can do on their day.

Winkler admitted that Barnsley have been forced to do more work on set-pieces. After conceding a late winner from a set-piece against Coventry last time out, Winkler said they had become more prominent in training. He said, “We did not focus on set pieces (on arrival), instead we brought a good style of football.”

Woodrow return

Despite having to wait to make his debut, Winkler said that Cauley Woodrow will be out for a further two weeks due to a muscular injury. The former Fulham man is ‘not being rushed’ by physios, according to Winkler. There were some words of encouragement from the assistant manager, as Winkler praised Woodrow’s few training performances. He said, “He has something special. He can provide something we don’t have.”

Keiffer Moore will be the man to lead the line, as he has done all season. The 26-year-old has scored 6 goals in 8 games and shows no signs of stopping. He said, “I embrace the role of being the senior striker. When I join a club, I always see myself as the main man; you have to as a striker.” 

When asked about competition with Woodrow, Moore was keen to stress he is looking forward to the partnership. He said, “It’ll be very good. With two strikers, you can make more space, and it makes it easier. Hopefully, he’ll make the goals, and I’ll tap them in!”

Ryan Hedges is back in contention for the trip on Saturday, after appearing in the reserve team loss to Nottingham Forest on Monday. Cameron McGeehan and Zeki Fryers also played, and Winkler described the players as ‘enjoying the match’. Brad Potts is also in contention, but this week may be too soon. Lloyd Isgrove is out for the foreseeable; the Welshman is currently training with the club physios.