Elliot Simoes is happy to play wherever head coach Gerhard Struber asks him to, after making his full league debut against Sheffield Wednesday and starting three days later against Birmingham City.
At home to Wednesday, Simoes started in an unfamiliar left midfield position in Struber’s diamond, having previously played in the number ten role occupied in the derby by goalscorer Cauley Woodrow.
He admitted it was a ‘lot of information’ to take in, especially with regards to the defensive side of the role, but was happy with his performance.
The 20-year-old, who signed last January from FC United of Manchester, said: “I’m not going to reject playing in that position because it’s not my natural position. I just started, and played my game. It’s a lot of information but I made sure I was paying attention to every detail so I could do it.
"It’s not just about going forward, you also need to look at the defensive side and it’s something that I do well. I didn’t find it really difficult. I enjoyed the game, it was a great atmosphere. I felt good. It’s something that you always dream of, playing in a big stadium with a lot of fans. I’m happy, it’s just unfortunate we couldn’t get the win. We played very well, I think we were on top of them for 90 minutes. We deserved to win.”
The Portuguese-born winger has forced his way into Struber’s plans with some eye-catching moments, having played in five of Barnsley’s six league games this year. He said: “I thought I did well at Charlton but I wouldn’t say at the start of the week I thought I’d be starting. “After the gaffer spoke to me and told me I would be starting, it just showed how much he trusts me and gave me a lot of confidence to go out there and play my football. “Most people think that I’d get a bit nervous, but I just think it’s just football and I’m going to enjoy it.”
Simoes scored his first goal for the Reds in the 2-1 defeat at Derby County on January 2, and made his first full debut three days after in the FA Cup as Barnsley beat Crewe 3-1 away. Against Wednesday, he had a good chance to net his second in the 72nd minute but pulled his effort wide from Jordan Williams’ low cross from the right. He said: “The first thing that I aim for is for us to stay up in the league, so that for me means to do the most I can, which can include assists or goals. “Our problem isn’t really going forward, we’ve had problems at the back which have let us down. Set-pieces are something we’ve been working on every single day in training, to make sure we all know our jobs and try not to concede. “We know that going forward, we can do it and we can get the goals.
“We’re all aware of the gap, that’s why in games like this week we’re all frustrated we couldn’t get the win. “But we all know we’re good players. Sometimes it’s just playing with the motivation and the heart. “That’s what the gaffer tells us every time, to give 100 per cent and the results will come. Hopefully they do.”
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‘I just want to play my football’ – Simoes
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