Swansea City v Barnsley - Loanee aims to extend Oakwell stay

Happy at Oakwell: Matty James holds off Brentford's Bryan Mbeumo.  Picture: Bruce RollinsonHappy at Oakwell: Matty James holds off Brentford's Bryan Mbeumo.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Happy at Oakwell: Matty James holds off Brentford's Bryan Mbeumo. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
HAVING worked at Leicester City under the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Claudio Ranieri and Nigel Pearson, Matty James is someone who can judge a good – or bad – head coach when he sees one.

Part of a Barnsley side who have won eight out of 12 league matches under Valerian Ismael, it is no surprise that the loan midfielder rates the Frenchman pretty highly.

It is the devout hope of James that he will be able to work with Ismael for a further spell beyond his initial loan which ends next month.

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Talks are likely to begin shortly with James’s parent club Leicester City with the Lancastrian understandably keen to remain at Oakwell and continue working with Ismael.

James said: “It is different for me in terms of style of play, but this team is working exceptionally well and he has come in and got the best out of every single player.

“The intensity we press at and the work we put in each day and for each game is one thing I have noticed.

“He has a plan for each and every single team and it can be different depending on what the other team is doing and then the focus comes back to Barnsley and what he needs to do in that game. He prepares you for that and you try and execute our game-plan.

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“I am enjoying it under him and hopefully that will continue.”

After successive wins against Wycombe, Sheffield Wednesday and Preston, the Reds face a step up against a Swansea side at a Liberty Stadium venue where the club have never won.

It is a test which comes at a timely moment and will provide a further barometer of the progress of Barnsley against a Swans team, who have lost just once in nine home matches this term.

On what faces Barnsley, who have not won in Swansea since August, 1974, Ismael said: “We are always looking forward to playing against the best players and teams and it is the same thing for the lads.

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“They want to make the next step and need a forceful performance against a side with a strong possession-based philosophy.”

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