Gerhard Struber said he was mentally drained after a 5-3 home win over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. 

The last-placed hosts got their third win of the season to cut the gap from seven to four points. 

Struber said: “I am very very happy for my team and for every Barnsley fan. I think this was a very very important game for us, to create a good performance and get very important points. I have no energy now, in my head. 

“It was a very difficult week and, in the end, we have four points which is two points too little but my players created together two very good games (including the draw with Reading on Wednesday). 

“My players had the winning DNA today which is what we need for our big challenge to stay in the league. I saw today the mentality that was not like a relegation team.

“It’s always good when we win for our self confidence and our faith. It is a better feeling when we come together again on Tuesday and work towards the end difficult task. Big victories are always good for our soul and for our heart. We are happy today but we have a lot to do to make sure we can consolidate this performance.”

Struber was disappointed with the three goals let in. He said:  “The reality is we conceded three goals. We have to work very very hard on the training pitch in the next week. My to do list is long but, step by step, we will get better in our process and I hope next week we will have good performances and get more points. 

“We have a free week now and the training will help us to make a better compact team in the defence. I have a plan for the next week so that we can do that. I will go home to Salzburg to see my family and the players will have two days off. That is very important to have a break in this difficult situation.” 

Striker Cauley Woodrow added: “It was probably up there with the maddest games I have played in. It was exciting for the fans to watch and for us on the pitch as well but, ultimately, we have scored five goals and conceded three so on another day we could have lost if we hadn’t been so clinical.”

Conor Chaplin hit a hat-trick but Struber was reluctant to focus on him, saying: “I am very happy with Conor but I am very happy with Cauley Woodrow and my other players. Every player is very important in our concept and our programme. My style is always teamwork but not creating for one or two players. We need every player and every player did a very good job today.”

Woodrow said of Chaplin: “The manager has come in and has a way of playing and that has been great for Conor. He is really bright player, he’s nippy. He’s not the tallest but he gets in areas people don’t expect because his movement is clever. He is a good finisher so I am not surprised he is scoring goals. The lads have signed a match ball for him so it’s a great day for him.”

Struber took off Mike Bahre after 32 minutes with Luke Thomas coming on. He said: “It was a tactical situation. Mike was not so fresh and it was a problem for us. Luke played a good game and, for the team, a small correct decision.”