The Reds ended a 17-match winless run – their longest since 1953 and the second worst in their history – with a 3-1 success over Hull City on Saturday. Defeats for the five clubs above them meant they are now five points from safety and two adrift at the bottom of the Championship.
Struber told the Chronicle: “The atmosphere around the team is very good this week. A result like that gives you a lift. I saw a team this week with a good focus and very high concentration but also a team that was funny and making good jokes. That is very important in the situation we are in, to have a good feeling when we are together in a meeting or training. It was a great weekend for us and I hope we have the benefit in the next games.
“I can say as much as I want to the players about my plan and to try to change their mentality but, if there is no result, it means nothing. “The performance and the result gives us a lot of self-confidence.”
Struber is now hoping to pick up more points in the next week which sees the Reds visit Cardiff City tomorrow before hosting Reading on Wednesday and QPR the following Saturday. He said: “I hope we can start a good run of results. If we show top character and focus on our task in every game, the results will only get better.”
The Hull game was Struber’s third in his first ten days in the Oakwell hotseat, and this week has been his first at the club without a midweek fixture. He said: “With Wolfsberger we also had a very strange timetable with the Europa League (on Thursdays) and the league in Austria. The culture here between the games, with training times, is a little bit different for me. This was my first week with the players and we had a long week, spending a lot of time working on positioning which is getting better and better.”
Barnsley could move off bottom should results go their way tomorrow. Struber said: “It is an important time, the players will show me how they perform under pressure. I hope we will have more good results in the next weeks and I hope our performance levels increase steadily. We will play with a big heart. “It’s a good feeling that the gap gets smaller but it is very important to focus on the performances and the next games, not so much the table.”
Struber says he needs more time to assess his squad before he makes plans for the January transfer window. He said: “It’s normally at this time that you look forward to the transfer window. We will need one or two or three players who can make our squad better. But I need the next few weeks to get a good picture of my squad so I can make a good decision in January. We have time and it is very important to make the right decisions.”
Mallik Wilks is expected to miss tomorrow’s match due to illness while the likes of Cameron McGeehan, Dani Pinillos and Mamadou Thiam are yet to feature under Struber. He said: “Mallik is an interesting player but he was sick for three or four days. Now he is back in training. It is too early for him to play in Cardiff but we will need him in the next games. Every player at the club has a good chance to play this season, but the last game was a great performance so now it is not so easy for other players to get into the team for the next game.”