Cardiff City v Barnsley: Captain Cauley Woodrow to embrace Reds’ new style

New Barnsley captain Cauley Woodrow thinks the Reds’ style of play this season should suit him better and he is urging his team-mates to “be brave and embrace it.”

Barnsley had great success under Valerien Ismael playing very direct football which took a team that had not won a game all season when he arrived in late October to fifth in the Championship.

But now Ismael has moved on to West Bromwich Albion, his successor Markus Schopp is promising a different approach which will be properly showcased for the first time at Cardiff City this afternoon.

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When he left for Ipswich Town recently, Conor Chaplin spoke about finding playing Ismael’s way difficult – though he was at pains to point out it was in the team’s best interests – and fellow forward Woodrow thinks Schopp’s approach should be better for him.

In charge: Barnsley's new captain, Cauley Woodrow, right, battle for the ball during the Championship play-off semi-final.

“I am a technical player so the ball on the floor suits me a lot more,” he said. “Last season also taught me an awful lot about my own game and how I can adapt.

“I’m really looking forward to playing this style because that’s what I’ve always played at previous clubs.”

A big departure from a successful style is always dangerous but Woodrow pointed to 2019-20, where he played as a No 10 under Schopp’s compatriot Gerhard Struber as opposed to as a targetman for Ismael, as proof it can succeed at Oakwell.

“Struber was a coach who wanted get the ball down and play out from the back along the floor,” he commented. “Valerien was a bit more direct but the gaffer now definitely wants us to play, to be brave on the ball, to make passes and attack.

“There are similarities to Struber but differences as well. We’ve definitely got the players to play football on the floor so we need to be brave and embrace it.”

One thing that will not change, Woodrow insists, is his approach after succeeding Alex Mowatt –who followed Ismael to the Hawthorns – as club captain.

“I’ll just be exactly the same,” he was keen to stress.

“By me saying it’s not going to change a lot I don’t mean it negatively. It’s a great honour for me and I’m really happy the manager has given me that role.

“In teams, players wear the armband but there are lots of leaders that fans and the media may not know. When Alex left it was something I wanted to do and I had the armband a couple of times last season and under Struber so it’s definitely something I wanted.”