Daniel Stendel said his Barnsley side ‘played like a youth team’ in their 5-1 loss at Preston North End on Saturday.

The Reds conceded four second half goals in what the head coach admitted was the worst performance since he moved to Oakwell last year. 

Stendel said: “You can see today, in 90 minutes, in small things and in big situations, we played like a youth team. At half-time, I thought it was not our best first half but 1-1 was a good result with one chance for us. I thought ‘maybe we can keep it a little bit longer and we will get our chances.’ But the second half was the worst half I can remember in Barnsley.”

The Reds are now second-bottom, a point above last-placed Stoke City, who won for the first time this season today, and three adrift of fourth-bottom Huddersfield Town who also won. 

Stendel, whose side are winless in ten league games, said: “The players want to run and fight and never give up but, after the last games, we have lost the little bit of confidence that we had after ten games without a victory. 

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“Every player has enough problems with himself in the game and it’s very difficult when a player makes a mistake and the other players cannot help. Preston played good and you can see in the table after 11 games that it is a team who have chances to get into the play-offs.  “We are playing, at the moment, like a team which is not good enough to play in the Championship. We are all really down after the game today. At the moment, it is really hard. The changing room is really quiet. This is the situation.”

Midfielder Cameron McGeehan, who scored the goal, added: “It’s not good enough across the board. We just let ourselves go in the second half. The first half was a decent away performance but the second just wasn’t good enough from every player. We will look at ourselves and go again.

“Preston are a good team but we are gifting too many goals out and we need to stop that as soon as possible. We have the break now and we can recharge and get ourselves going again, because we need to get better quick. We were too sloppy, let them in too many times and made too many mistakes. That cost us the game.” 

There was applause in the 66th minute from home and away supporters for Jeffrey Wroe, the Barnsley fan who died during the game against Derby County on Wednesday. The Reds also put a shirt with his name on it on their bench in the dugout. 

Stendel said: “I talked with some supporters before the game that we wanted to do that. It was a bad moment on Wednesday, we were happy about the goal in the last minute but sad about Jeffrey.”