Gerhard Struber admits the 3-0 loss to Preston North End was Barnsley’s worst performance under him. 

The Reds conceded three first half goals to remain four points adrift of safety in the Championship relegation zone. 

Struber told the Chronicle: “This was absolutely the worst performance since I have been here in Barnsley. The first half was not our standard and we did not play in a professional style. It was not good enough to pick up points or to stay in the league. It was absolutely not my style and not the style the team should show the fans. I cannot say the right words about the first half. It is a new feeling for me. It’s a raven black day for me and my players.”

Struber was angry with the mistakes for the second and third goals as well as his team’s body language after going behind. He said: “We made such big mistakes. It was like before I came at to the club when those mistakes were normal. We haven’t had these mistakes in the last games but my team crashed in this game. We made mistakes like amateur players. This is not enough to stay in the league. I can make no comment on the mistakes for the second and third goals, they were absolutely crazy. It’s normal that you can lose games but it how you lose a game. The opponent’s goals were so simple. The mistakes crashed our spirit and our energy. The body language after the goals was not OK and that was the big surprise to me.”

Struber apologised to the Barnsley supporters, who booed after the third goal and at half-time. He said: “I have to say sorry to the fans. 12,000 fans came and to show them this game was very disappointing. I can absolutely understand why they booed, I am also frustrated. The fans pay for their tickets and all I can say is sorry.”

The head coach is now looking to work the players hard in training before their FA Cup tie at Portsmouth on Saturday.

He said: “We will do a lot of hard work this week and I will have a talk with one or two players who did not play to our standards. Fans go home after a game at Barnsley and they are not happy with the mistakes and the body language and the conviction of the players. It is my responsibility and the responsibility of the players to change this. This is one step back but we can show on Saturday that we make two steps forwards. I believe in my team 100 per cent.”