Barnsley's search for a new head coach looks set to drag into a second month with the club facing a ‘massive few weeks’ on and off the pitch.
Chief executive Dane Murphy has met with several potential candidates to replace Daniel Stendel who was relieved of his duties as head coach on October 7. Poya Asbaghi, the current manager of Swedish top flight club IFK Gothenburg, is understood to be one of several coaches interviewed and ‘a person of interest’.
Caretaker Adam Murray has collected two points from his three games in charge with two draws followed by Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Huddersfield Town. Murray said: “I am in constant dialogue with the board. I can’t say anymore. I know it’s getting boring, me saying the same things about it, but the club are doing what they need to do.
“I haven’t once had conversations with the board or my family about me getting the job (on a full-time basis) and I cannot afford to take my eye off what I am doing. If the board say to me that they want me to take the role on then I will have to take my time because it is a really big decision. I had time out from being a manager because I wanted to focus on the coaching element which I think is my biggest strength. I haven’t put my mind on that question because it hasn’t been mentioned.”
Last-placed Barnsley are four points from safety and level with second-bottom Stoke City who have a better goal difference and are due to visit Oakwell a week tomorrow in the last game before the international break. That is after the Reds host Bristol City tonight.
Barnsley are currently winless in 13 matches since their opening day success against Fulham which is their longest such run since 1971. Should they fail to win tonight, they will be on their longest winless run since a 15-game sequence in the 1958/59 season.
Murray said: “I don’t think you can take the players’ minds off the table. “This is our job and for us to say the league table is not important would be a little bit stupid. We know what we have to do, we haven’t got our eyes closed.
"We can waste energy talking about being bottom and not winning games, but we can’t change that at the moment. All we can change is the performance on the pitch. We will do everything we can to get points on the board.
“Our aim now is to close the gap on the teams above us. The next two games moving into the international break will be a huge month. In the last international break, we got a lot of time on the training ground and we have all seen the improvements so, whoever in charge, the international break will be massive.”
The Reds have the worst defensive record in the division with 27 goals conceded in 14 matches. Murray said: “We know we need to develop these players, it’s a time thing but time is the one thing we don’t have in this game. We can’t judge these young players on a small group of games at a very tough level. We could talk about what Daniel talked about in the press (the lack of experience) for the last three months, but it won’t change the situation. I think we have some very good players but we need to give them the right tools.
“We have improved the performances. We didn’t look like we were a Championship team against Brentford and Preston, but we have in the last three games. We have not conceded as many chances but those we have conceded have been too good for the opposition. It’s not a structural thing, we just have to limit individual errors.
"You can take the individual out who is making the errors or you can work with them. It is not going to be fixed in two or three weeks. Going forward, we have looked like we’re going to score more goals and we’re creating chances.
“The reaction to Saturday has been positive. We are gutted and we are in a tough situation but it’s nothing that we can’t deal with and nothing that has been sprung on us because we knew this season would be a big challenge. “We are still training with real enthusiasm and energy to put things right.”
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‘Huge month for whoever is in charge’ says caretaker Murray
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