MANAGER Lee Johnson’s message to his Barnsley side is loud and clear – it’s good to talk.
The Reds, one of the youngest sides in the Football League, have had a mixed start to the League One campaign, with Johnson feeling he has detected one of the reasons why.
He has noticed a lack of match-day communication out on the pitch between his players, which he has been seeking to address.
Johnson donned his boots again earlier this week to play in a practice match involving his first-team squad to see at close-quarters the extent of the issue – and also cajole his quieter players to find their voices in the heat of battle, starting against Swindon tomorrow,.
“We have been working very hard on communication as we have such a young group,” he said. “They have to communicate and know how to. In any walk of life, that’s important.
“It is something we have tried to fast-track with our younger players this week. They can make the game easier with good communication.
“I played in a game on Tuesday and there were a few things I had to see for a reason. Not only to help people in what to say, how to say it and when to say things, but also to see what we need to work on in the game.
“It was a good exercise and I think it helped the players as well. We made Sam Winnall and Conor Hourihane the manager and coach and they had to do the team talk.
“It is about giving them all the responsibility. They have also been on a team-building day in Sheffield, which was like a problem-solving day where they had to communicate to get out of locked-in areas and different scenarios and they enjoyed that as well.”
The Reds are taking a look at former Liverpool left-back Brad Smith on trial and the free agent will return to Oakwell next week.