Barnsley: Winkler backs '˜flexible' Reds to bounce back stronger

  Assistant head coach Andreas Winkler believes Barnsley are well equipped to get their season back on track. Â

Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 12:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 12:55 pm
Andreas Winkler

The Tykes have slipped off the pace in League One after suffering back-to-back defeats on the road to Sunderland and Wycombe Wanderers. 

The Reds are currently sixth in the table, six points off second-placed Luton with a game in hand. 

It is the not the first time Barnsley have had their progress halted by two consecutive defeats away from home. 

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They lost 2-0 at play-off contenders Charlton and then 3-1 to struggling Shrewsbury in the space of four days in October. 

But they bounced back in style, going on a seven-match unbeaten run in all competitions, which included five wins. 

And Winkler thinks that experience will stand them in good stead when they take on leaders Portsmouth on Saturday. 

"We have had different periods in the season. We had to come back from two defeats, which we did, and we had to fight for the two 1-0s," the German said. 

"We have improved, learned a lot of these matches, and now we have a bright side. We have lots of quality and have prepared very well until Christmas. We are now really more flexible. 

"Everybody in the squad knows exactly what we want to play and we can react in the match, change a little bit. 

"We know we have good quality for the league, we know most opponents, and my option is that we deserve to be near the top of the league. 

"It is still a young side that need to be coached, that is normal. Now I know, if you coach them at half-time, they try to adapt. We know if we change formation or the way we press, they can do it."

Barnsley face a stern test of their promotion credentials over the festive period. 

All of their five games between now and New Year's Day come against sides in the top eight, starting with Pompey at Oakwell. 

But Winkler is confident the Tykes can hold their own. 

"After every match we talk to the other managers and they tell us we have a strong side and are difficult to play against," Winkler added. 

"We know they have a lot of thoughts before the match and they are prepared for us. That is why I know we are kind of favourites. 

"We don't think like that because we know how fast football can change. We want to win every match."