Barnsley v Blackburn Rovers: Tykes youngsters rising to the occasion

THE touchline brouhaha between Barnsley’s coaching staff and their Stoke counterparts late on in Wednesday’s draw in the Potteries produced a fair amount of post-match opprobrium.

In its own way, it also displayed something revealing about the Reds’ young group of players.

The fact they defended their corner during the brief fracas which also involved both sets of players was further evidence of their stomach for the battle on a testing night when they produced a gutsy effort to become the first side to take something away from Stoke this season.

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On an evening when they were without key personnel – and will be for some games to come – it was perhaps as significant as anything so far in 2021-22.

Barnsley head coach Markus Schopp. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Head coaches and managers want to see their teams exhibit game plans and progressive football, but they also want to witness togetherness, spirit and fight, where necessary.

Head coach Markus Schopp, again without Mads Andersen, Carlton Morris, Josh Benson and Liam Kitching today, said: “It is one thing to see a couple of young lads playing. But if they don’t have the right mentality, it means they are thinking they are a youthful player.

“Sometimes, it is good to have a good presentation. But right now, we are adults and we need results and results have to come out with the right mentality and the right attitude and team spirit.

“This is what I saw for 90 minutes in the last game and we have to build on this and cannot make a mistake to think that we don’t need these qualities on Saturday or in the next couple of games. This is the basics of it all.

“It is a long season and it is about handling situations like this. And when we do it like we did on Wednesday, I don’t have a problem with that.”

The fact that Schopp has also refused to complain about his side having a day less to prepare for today’s game than their opponents is also indicative of his desire for Barnsley to ‘man up’ and get on with the cards they are dealt with on an afternoon when they are likely to have to dig in once more.

He added: “It is how the situation is. We cannot change anything. 

“It is definitely a situation which brings a bit of favour for the other team. But it is not a situation we have to think a lot about.

“It is all about bringing our match plan in the hands of the guys and they know how we want to play.”