Markus Schopp on why Barnsley’s Romal Palmer and Dominik Frieser still have much work to do

BARNSLEY midfielder Romal Palmer may be developing a status as one of the young players to watch at Championship level, but head coach Markus Schopp is far from satisfied.

HARD WORK: Barnsley's Romal Palmer Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Palmer’s rise to prominence after football’s resumption following the first lockdown in June, 2020 has been one of many stand-out individual stories at Oakwell in recent times.

His performances last season in helping the Reds reach the end-of-season play-offs – his first full campaign of regular football at second-tier level – have marked him out as a name to watch, yet head coach Schopp has set him a fresh challenge after insisting he is nowhere near the finished article.

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Much of that revolves around improving his fitness, with the one-time Manchester City academy player having been replaced around the hour mark in three of Barnsley’s five league games so far this term.

Barnsley head coach, Markus Schopp Picture: Bruce Rollinson

On Palmer, an ever-present in the league this season, Schopp commented: “Regarding the quality of Romal, we don’t have to discuss (this). He is an excellent player who is very technical with a lot of skills which can help us.

“But he still has too much time on the ball and is a player who – let’s put it this way – plays on a certain level. In the next game, he is not on the same level. His range has to improve and he has to have an average level where he can always play.

“For him, it is much more a question about fitness. So we have to take care of him.

“But again, everybody is individually on a level where we know we can make them better. He is a player with a lot of quality who can improve and he has a lot of time too.”

IMPRESSIVE: Barnsley's Dominik Frieser Picture: Jacques Feeney/Getty Images

One player whose data is strong in that regard and who has worked on that aspect of his game during his time in England is Dominik Frieser.

The Austrian forward has caught the eye so far under Schopp in netting in league games against Coventry and QPR and is becoming an increasingly important player for the Reds.

Schopp, whose side resume after the international break with a long trip to Bournemouth on Saturday, said: “Dominik is a hard-working guy and it is unbelievable what he does off the ball and I am so glad he is a player who also adds with his goals.

“He gives us something what we need, deep in our play. He appears in some spaces where some other guys don’t attack.

“I am quite pleased with his performances, but I guess even he still has a lot of potential to get better.”