Cardiff City v Barnsley - New Reds coach Valerien Ismael spreading the energy
That is the view of Reds striker Patrick Schmidt, with the new Oakwell head coach walking tall after presiding over two fine wins against Watford and QPR.
Another barometer of Barnsley’s evolvement will arrive against a physically-imposing Cardiff side, whose ranks include ex-Reds forward Kieffer Moore.
Barnsley head to the Principality without in-form wing-back Callum Brittain, who has added to a growing injury count with Jordan Williams, Cauley Woodrow and Romal Palmer also missing.
Brittain could be back in the reckoning for Saturday’s trip to Derby County.
On the positive and immediate impact made by the former LASK head coach, Schmidt commented: “He did a great job last season. Not just in the league, but also in the Europa League and they were in a big fight with (Red Bull) Salzburg for the title.
“We were looking forward to him when we heard he would be our new gaffer. He did well and has a good reputation in Austria.
“He likes to speak a lot to the players and has had a lot of conversations with us and I think he has a big aura as he is such a big guy.
“If he says something, it just spreads energy and I think that is important and everyone is 100 per cent focused and ready for a big fight in games, which is similar to Gerhard (Struber).”
Unveiled to the press just eight days ago, Ismael takes charge of his third game tonight, but sees positives to the hectic schedule all the same.
The Frenchman added: “I love that. I think it is much better for the players to play.
“For sure, you sometimes need more time to work with the team. But now, we have two more games and then a break and then I can work 10 days with the team and then we maybe have all the players (available) for the next block.
“The Championship is very interesting as there are a lot of different ways (styles) and it is a good thing for me and my staff.”
Last six games: Cardiff DWDDDL; Barnsley LDDDWW.
Referee: D Whitestone (Northants).
Last time: Cardiff 3 Barnsley 2, December 7, 2019; Championship.
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