Barnsley FC v Millwall: Markus Schopp in desperate need of change in fortunes

STOOD IN the technical area of the home dug-out at Oakwell with his hands in his pockets watching Barnsley implode in the final half-hour of Wednesday’s game with Nottingham Forest, head coach Markus Schopp looked to be in a lonely place.

More especially given the mood of agitated Reds followers, understandably disappointed at what they were witnessing.

Fortunately, the Austrian has broad shoulders and has been in the game long enough to know that it goes with the territory when things aren’t going well.

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At the moment, Barnsley are doing it tough, but they have certainly been here before.

A lonely job: Markus Schopp on his own in the technical area as Barnsley lost their way against Nottingham Forest (Picture: Tony Johnson)

Like in the late autumn of 2019, when a home win over Hull to end an 18-match winless league streak kick-started the era of Schopp’s compatriot Gerhard Struber in his third match in charge.

How Schopp could do with a moment like that today, with the Reds having triumphed just once in his ten Championship matches at the helm thus far with the natives getting restless.

On fans’ criticism, Schopp, whose side are without a win in their past eight games, said: “That is part of my business. When I signed the contract in Barnsley, I knew what everyone was expecting. We had a situation where for most of last season, nobody was in the stadium and had to follow the games on television.

“They were hungry and I loved having them all back in the stadium. It is one thing that they are always positive as supporters, but obviously, when you don’t have the results, you have to handle the situation as a coach.

Barnsley manager Markus Schopp under pressure. ( Picture: Tony Johnson)

“The most important thing is to have them all back in the stadiums.

“My wish is that a lot of them will come and support us as the lads really need it right now because we are facing a situation which is not that easy.

“To get out of this situation, everyone who cares about the club should support us.

“I try my best and the lads try their best and when the result is not here, this is the part that all managers have to handle.”

Midfielder Josh Benson will sit out a second successive game this afternoon, with Schopp waiting on an update regarding his condition after the former Burnley player was withdrawn from the starting line-up against Forest, having initially been named on the teamsheet as a starter.

Schopp added: “It is a muscle problem and it has to be defined how (bad) is this problem. He will not be available for the (Millwall) game and we have to make our plans without him.”