Barnsley Analysis and Opinion

Barnsley Head Coach Daniel Stendel knows his side need to tighten up their leaky defence if they are to challenge for promotion this season.

The Reds have conceded nine goals in their previous three games in all competitions, compared to just two in seven prior to that. 

“We need better defending”

Barnsley bounced back from their 4-2 defeat at Sunderland in League One by beating Southend United in the FA Cup last Saturday by the same scoreline.

A midweek loss on penalties to Manchester City Under 21’s after a 3-3 draw in the Chekatrade Trophy has left Stendel demanding more from his side.

He said:

“The focus for the next games, especially for Saturday, is that we defend better,”
“We can score every game, but we need better defending. It is easier to win with one goal.
“We said before the start of the season that we wanted to change the defending.
“We are a very good team, we played well most of the time, I think we are one of the best teams in the league, but it is not enough.
“We want to be the best team and successful team in the league. At the moment, we are not. We need to change in the future. I hope our players understand that.”

Despite their current poor form defensively, The Reds have kept the 2nd highest number of clean sheets this season, with 8 from their 19 League One games so far. 

Wycombe Wanderers  

Daniel Stendel’s 5th-placed side travel to Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday, looking to continue their promotion push.

The Chairboys sit 10th in League One, despite being many people’s tip for relegation this season.

Gareth Ainsworth’s side have a unique weapon in their arsenal in the shape of Adabayo Akinfenwa.

Barnsley’s back-line is in for a huge test against the well-travelled striker who is renowned for his strength and power.

The 36-year old has only notched 5 goals in 19 appearances this season, but Stendel is well aware of his threat.

He said:

“I have watched in preparation for the Wycombe game clips of Akinfenwa.
“When he has the ball he is a very good player. We need to make sure he doesn’t get the ball. It is a big point for a successful game at Wycombe. 
“He is a good player, but he is not the best player in the league. We are prepared for him. 
“We only focus on our game, our strengths, that is the important for me.”

This will be Barnsley’s first trip to Adam’s Park for 15 years. The Reds have never lost to Wycombe in their previous four meetings in the league, winning 1. 

The Reds will have to beat their best preserve this record on Saturday, The Chairboys are in fine form having won three of their last four games in League One. 

Ainsworth’s side are also chasing a club record on Saturday. A win against the Tykes on Saturday would see the Chairboys win their sixth successive home match in the league, which would be a new club record. 

On their opponents, Stendel said:

“They are doing better than some would have expected. It’s a very simple, but very effective style that they use. 
“We have prepared well for the game, we know what we have to do to get the result we want, and it’s about the players carrying this out on Saturday.”

Barnsley are without the suspended Dimitri Cavare for the Wycombe clash. Meanwhile, Kenny Dougall, Ryan Hedges and Lloyd Isgrove are still out with injuries.


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