How Daniel Stendel’s pep talk did the trick for Barnsley at AFC Wimbledon

Rotherham's manager Paul Warne
Rotherham's manager Paul Warne

Cameron McGeehan has revealed how head coach Daniel Stendel's half-time team-talk inspired Barnsley to victory at AFC Wimbledon.   

The Tykes went into the interval at Kingsmeadow level at 1-1 after Joe Pigott cancelled out Cauley Woodrow's stylish 19th-minute opener. 

Stendel was forced to have words with his players at the break and they paid off in the second half as the Tykes romped to a 4-1 victory. 

Kieffer Moore netted his 15th goal of the season in the 51st minute and then laid on a goal for Mamadou Thiam to put the game beyond the Dons. 

McGeehan added a fourth at the death to extend Barnsley's unbeaten streak to seven League One matches, which includes five wins, and ensure they stayed four points behind second-placed Luton with a game in hand. 

And the midfielder pinpointed Stendel's speech in the dressing room as the turning point in a tough trip to the capital. 

Burnley's Jeff Hendrick (left) and Barnsley's Cameron McGeehan (right) battle for the ball during the Emirates FA Cup, third round match at Turf Moor, Burnley. Pic: Dave Howarth/PA Wire.

Burnley's Jeff Hendrick (left) and Barnsley's Cameron McGeehan (right) battle for the ball during the Emirates FA Cup, third round match at Turf Moor, Burnley. Pic: Dave Howarth/PA Wire.

"We bossed the first 20 minutes but then we took our foot off the gas a bit and they came back into it which you’d expect from the home team," McGeehan said.  

"They're always going to have a spell. But the gaffer said his thing at half-time, got us going again and we went out with renewed energy, pressed them hard and didn’t give them a sniff really. 

"It’s a great result for us but it’s just three points and we have to keep plugging away."

The first five fixtures during Barnsley's unbeaten streak came against promotion rivals before the victories over lowly Bradford and Wimbledon. 

They face another struggling side in Rochdale, who are languishing just above the relegation zone, at Oakwell on Saturday. 

And McGeehan believes the experience of grinding out a result at a ground like Wimbledon's will stand the Reds in good stead for future challenges. 

“Wimbledon is a tough place to go. I have struggled there before with Luton and Scunthorpe last season," he added.  

"The crowd are right on top of you and you can hear every word that the spectators say. But we had great away support after a long trip. 

"You've got to earn the right to play, and I think we did that eventually. There was only one team in it in the second half and the scoreline reflected that."