The Reds are seven points from safety and four adrift at the bottom of the league ahead of tomorrow’s home match with Queens Park Rangers. They conceded in injury-time in a 3-2 loss at Cardiff City on Saturday, having been ahead twice, then lost another lead in a 1-1 draw at home to Reading on Wednesday.
Their only wins this season have come on the opening day against Fulham then last month against Hull City, which ended a 17-match winless run. The Reds are sure to be in the bottom three at Christmas even if they beat both QPR tomorrow and Millwall away a week later. Struber has collected four points from his five matches in charge since taking over three weeks ago.
Reading’s equaliser was from a corner and is the latest in a long list of set piece goals which have irritated the Austrian. He told the Chronicle: “We work hard in training on those situations but we need a clear mentality and focus on our tasks and to not lose concentration. I am a little angry about it. It is just a present for the opponent and it makes me angry.”
Struber refused to acknowledge that the seven-point gap to safety might have an impact on the players’ confidence. He said: “It’s not the moment to look at the table, it’s the moment to look at our performance. The table is not so important.”
QPR are 12th in the table, three points off the play-offs and 18 ahead of Barnsley. Struber said: “Every game is important and every game we show that we create a good performance. It is clear we need points but, on Saturday, we will give all we have and I am very hopeful that the performance will be good.
“We need a bit of luck as well and we need to stay focused for every situation in the game. “I hope that the fans come and support us but I think they are also disappointed. They know we need points and I understand that the fans are not feeling good. It’s not easy when you come into a stadium and you see a team fighting and working but, in the end, you get no big benefit. “It’s difficult but we have the power, energy and spirit in the team that we can change it.
“I still believe in this team, very much. We speak in solutions, we have no real time for training. Our plan was to regenerate on Thursday and, on Friday, we will create our matchplan. We will spend a lot of time on video sessions and I will speak a lot with my boys to work out what we need to do.”
Barnsley could be without defender Aapo Halme who has been playing defensive midfield but missed the Reading game due to an ankle problem. Struber said: “Aapo is a very important player for us and it is not so good without him. I hope he is fit for the next game.”
Left-back Ben Williams came off on Wednesday, with Struber saying: “It is difficult for him to play on Saturday.”