Barnsley goalkeeper Adam Davies paid tribute to his boss Daniel Stendel after the head coach was hurt in an alleged confrontation with Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton.
The Barnsley captain says ‘the fans love him even more’ after Stendel required emergency dental treatment in the aftermath of the Tykes’ 4-2 victory over Fleetwood and thanked the head coach for improving his game.
“I’m sure everyone is concerned but nothing’s really changed for us,” said Davies. “He’s come in on Tuesday and he’s been the exact same person, so I wouldn’t worry too much about him.
"We’ve had a lot of things go against us this season. We’ve always stepped up and stuck together, it shows the massive team-spirit we’ve got in this group and the character we’ve got to keep going and keep battling.
“It’s been fine. As players, we’ve just stuck to what we do. We had a great performance on Saturday. There’s great confidence and a real buzz about the group.”
Davies’ performances under Stendel have not only earned him a place in the Sky Bet League One ‘team of the year’ but he also picked up his first international cap for Wales in March.
“It was a great day and proud moment for me and the family,” added Davies of his Wales debut. “My performances here for Barnsley is what got me that so I thank Daniel for keeping faith in me, playing me every week and improving me as much as he has.
“I think the playing out from the back and starting from me, previous managers would have said ‘if it’s on, do it - if not, take no risks’ but he wants us to take those risks. He wants us to dominate the ball and take risks in our third of the field. So that’s one of the massive things he's definitely helped me improve and believe in my ability to do that.”
The Tykes face Shrewsbury at Oakwell on Good Friday before their trip to Plymouth on Easter Monday. Davies knows it’s out of the team’s hands as Sunderland and Portsmouth both have a game in hand and sit just two points behind the Reds in the table.
“It’s obviously a massive weekend for us,” he continued. “The results kind of went our way at the weekend.
“It’s really exciting to see where we end up, whether that’s automatic or play-offs - we’ll embrace both. We’re looking forward to it.”