The 29-year-old Austrian centre-back signed for the Reds in the January transfer window from Wolfsberger where he had previously worked under head coach Gerhard Struber. Sollbauer admits he was not pleased with the way he played on his debut in the FA Cup at Portsmouth and his first Championship game at Charlton Athletic, which both brought defeats.
He told the Chronicle: “I am not a man to give excuses. I was not happy with my performances in the first few games. I knew I could do a lot better but it wasn’t easy to come into this league and play. I have got a lot of confidence from the coach and I want to give that back to him and the team and club. It takes one or two weeks but now I know everyone at the club and the style of play.”
Sollbauer is the oldest player at the club but believes his team-mates are improving. He said: “They are getting more mature and taking responsibility. After every game and every training week, they get smarter. They know not to go into every duel and especially in the last minute. They are growing up.”
Sollbauer was thrilled to win for the first time at Oakwell on Saturday when Middlesbrough lost 1-0. He said: “We have the feeling that everyone is believing in us and it is important that we showed the fans we are still alive. It is important that Oakwell is a really hard place to go for other teams. We believe we can achieve our goal and stay in this league. “There are a lot of games left against our direct opponents in the table.”
Sollbauer played in a back three against Boro as Struber moved away from the 4-4-2 diamond formation he has mainly used with the Reds. He said: “We trained in it during the week. For me it was not so different to what we played with Gerhard in Austria. The team did a really great job and everyone showed high discipline. Against Middlesbrough, the back three worked really well.”