Barnsley FC coach Markus Schopp demands improvement in front of Oakwell faithful

AT the start of a season, it is common for players’ reputations to be enhanced when they don’t start games - especially new signings.

Disappointing: Barnsley striker Clarke Oduor gets a shot in against Bolton Wanderers. Pictures: Bruce Rollinson

If Barnsley’s Carabao Cup exit at Bolton Wanderers told head coach Markus Schopp anything, it was that he will be anxious for recent acquisitions Obbi Oulare and Aaron Leya Iseka to be fully up to speed sooner rather than later.

Two players handed opportunities in the shape of Victor Adeboyejo and Clarke Oduor –handed a start in an advanced forward role – did not take them and missed first-half opportunities. The Reds had only themselves to blame after failing to cash in on their dominance in the first hour and paid the price with a penalty shoot-out exit.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

George Miller was tried in a right wing-back role before ending up front – an exercise which proved more productive for Schopp, who has resisted the urge to hand game-time to Oulare and Iseka.

Versatile: Barnsley's George Miller holds off Liam Gordon, of Bolton Wanderers.

Schopp will have learned other things about his supporting cast and the Reds’ lack of punch in the final third was the biggest negative factor.

He said: “We have to improve and work on that. I wanted to see a couple of guys who were in competition because it is important for us to get a bigger picture and get more ideas in how we deal with certain situations.

“It is about getting everybody on a higher level and I have a lot of answers to a lot of questions I had before the game. It was important to get the best picture about a couple of players and the best picture is one that you get in a game.

“If we don’t score, we have a problem.”

Unhappy: Bolton's Ian Evatt and Barnsley coach Markus Schopp.

Attention has switched to back-to-back home games with Coventry City and Luton Town, Barnsley’s two first league opponents on home soil last term.

A haul of one point from six from those games contributed to a below-par start to 2020-21 for the Reds and as a new head coach, Schopp is conscious of the need for his side to make a positive statement at his first introduction to Barnsley fans at Oakwell this weekend.

He added: “You know how it goes with penalties and there is nothing we have to care about and it is much more about recovering a couple of guys for this really important game, our first home (league) game with the crowd in the stadium and we will be so sharp to make sure everyone is pleased with how we show up.”