Markus Schopp says Barnsley management see bigger picture as his injury list eases

Markus Schopp says he is still in charge of Barnsley because those running the club understand the problems he has had to contend with.

UNDER PRESSURE: Barnsley coach Markus Schopp has not tasted victory in his last 12 matches

With all his players bar Aapo Halme back in training this week, one of the mitigating factors behind the Reds' poor start is about to be crossed off the list. With a trip to a Bristol City side who have not won at home since January, then games against the other two teams currently in the Championship relegation zone - Derby County and Hull City - it means they simply must start winning games.

The Austrian feels his team is close.

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It is 12 games since Barnsley last won, and they have lost the last six matches. Out of context, it is sacking form and many fans feel that in context it is too.

"I know what we are going through and I know everyone watching results is wondering how a manager in this position is still here but in the inner circle we know what we were facing the last couple of months," said Schopp.

"We are getting to the point where the Barnsley team is getting complete, even the players who hadn't touched the ground this season. That's an important thing and the responsible people knew it was a tough situation for the team and the players.

"At the moment when I think we can't reach anything in the way we want to play, you have to think about everything but this is not what I see. I see a team doing everything in each training session to get it right.

"In the games I see a lot of things going in the right direction, then one individual mistake brings a negative result."

Schopp has had to deal with a huge number of handicaps since he was parachuted into a club which reached last season's play-offs, one of them being injuries to key players. Those, though, seem to be easing.

"It's so important to have the lads so close to being back," he said of the return of Mads Andersen, Josh Benson, Carlton Morris and Jordan Williams to training. "We knew a couple of them have been really long-term injuries, a couple have been out for a couple of days.

"Almost all the lads are taking part in the training sessions. A couple of the guys are a bit more protected but we are on a different level to a couple of days and weeks ago.

"It's a positive that Mads Andersen is really close. Carlton still needs a bit of time but he is participating in the training sessions and even Josh Benson is back on the field so that's positive.

"We are thinking about all of the guys but we don't want a big risk to put a guy on the pitch and he's out again.

"We have to be smart. We don't want to risk them with a very intense week so we're going to make our decisions on Friday.

"Aapo (Halme) is the last guy not participating in the training sessions. I think he will be reintegrated I think in the international break."

Despite Schopp's understandable caution, it seems WIlliams, Mads Andersen and Romal Palmer, who missed out against Sheffield United, could return at Ashton Gate.

"Romal didn't practice at the beginning of the week but he started the last couple of days," said Schopp. "Jordan Williams has practiced in the regular way so I think both will be available.

"He practiced all week long. He's looks really sharp, he is hungry and we know what a professional player he is. We will see. He's one of the players we have to be really, really careful with but we know how important he is for us."

Forward Morris has not played since mid-August and has been badly missed.

"He's a bit further (back in his rehabilitation), I think," said Schopp. "It will take another one or two weeks. After the (international) break he will be available."