BARNSLEY FC head coach Gerhard Struber has lavished praise on the fight and intensity of his side after a key derby win over Huddersfield Town - and believes their improved mentality is proving the difference in their survival fight.tion
The Reds moved to within four points of Town after a 2-1 Championship victory, thanks to goals from captain Alex Mowatt and Conor Chaplin, who crowned his Championship player-of-the-month award for December with his ninth goal in 12 appearances.
A goal from Lewis O'Brien straight after Chaplin's strike, put the game's outcome back in the melting point, but the Reds held out for a precious three points to avenge their loss by the same margin at Huddersfield in the autumn.
Struber, whose side are now five unbeaten on home soil, with the Reds having lost just once in nine matches at Oakwell, said: "I am a happy coach. I am very proud of my team. I think we played very well against a big opponent.
"Huddersfield is a big name and they have a big budget and my team, especially in the first half, created a very good game.
"We made the next step in my style, especially on the ball. We had a top positioning and we had so much control about the game. This is the next very important step and a strong way to stay in the league.
"In the second half, we had not so good positioning and lost more control and the opponents had chances with long balls and it was very hard to defend this. But I think in the end, I am very happy with the performance and the mentality to win games.
"I think this is the biggest change in terms of what we have done in the last two months. What I see in the eyes of the boys is completely different."
On his side's league placing, with the third-from-bottom just one point adrift of Stoke City, the side currently just outside the drop zone, the Austrian said: "When we win, other clubs drop down. But my focus is only on my team that we climb higher every week.
"I have a big conviction that we will stay in the league when we have this mentality, style and character. We are in a very, very good way."