Barnsley: Position switch was just desserts for Toby Sibbick
Barnsley's Toby Sibbick was given an eyebrow-raising surprise during his pre-match meal ahead of the trip to Wigan Athletic last week.
The defender, who joined from AFC Wimbledon in the summer, was preparing for another battle in the heart of the Reds defence when boss Daniel Stendel told him that he would be in fact playing in midfield at the DW Stadium.
Injuries to Alex Mowatt and Cameron McGeehan left Stendel short in the middle of the park and Sibbick was asked to fill in.
It was a role that he played with aplomb, shielding the back four as the Reds ended a four-game losing streak with a 0-0 draw.
Stendel mentioned in passing to Sibbick that he might play him in that position, but it was still a shock.
“I only found out at the pre-match meal,” the 20-year-old said.
“The gaffer said to me last week that he has an idea of me playing in midfield, but I didn’t really read into it.
“But it has happened and I have had to learn quickly. I think I adjusted to the role well.”
Stendel believes his selection was justified and knows Sibbick is a versatile player who he can trust.
“I thought Toby Sibbick was great, he played like a 38-year-old player,” the German said.
“A lot of experience with only eight weeks in Barnsley. I am very happy.
“We need to trust the players. I think for Toby it was the first time he played in centre-mid. He played similar performances like right-back, left-back, centre-back and we can trust him in every position.”