Barnsley have been interviewing candidates for the head coach’s position all week but it is still unknown whether they will have someone in place when they return to action at home to Bristol City a week tomorrow.
Gerhard Struber moved to New York Red Bulls on Tuesday after the MLS club met the release clause in his contract and persuaded him to move across the Atlantic, ending weeks of speculation. The Chronicle understands that the Reds, who regularly update a list of available candidates in case their current coach departs, conducted their first interview on the same day that Struber officially left and have held more this week.
Chief executive Dane Murphy and James Cryne, part-owner and involved in the recruitment department, have been taking the interviews while Murphy is also hoping to bring in several new players before the transfer deadline a week today. Hannes Wolf, a 39-year-old German who has managed Stuttgart, Hamburg and Belgian club Genk in the last four seasons, has been considered by Barnsley in the past but is not thought to be one of the leading candidates this time.
The Reds are also not currently planning to make another approach for Swedish manager Poya Asbaghi who was interviewed before Struber was appointed last year but was sacked by IFK Gothenburg last month. Darren Moore, the former Barnsley defender now in charge of Doncaster Rovers, saw his odds slashed by bookmakers this week to become favourite but the Chronicle understands he is not a candidate.
Many of the candidates the Reds are considering are understood to be overseas coaches, as they are prioritising managers who play high-pressing football. The Reds are hoping the process will be significantly quicker than the one that led to Struber’s appointment last November, more than a month after the sacking of Daniel Stendel a year ago this week. But they are also keen not to rush the appointment and make a mistake, as they are aware the choice may partly define a season which has so far seen them register just one point and one goal from four Championship games.
Struber’s former coach Adam Murray took training on Wednesday, after the players were given extra days off as normal at the start of the transfer window. He may have the opportunity to lead the side against Bristol City on October 17, if a new man has not been appointed. That game will be the first of seven fixtures in 22 days.
Tonda Eckert and Wolfgang Luisser – who were brought by Struber as his assistants in August – also remain at the club and have been in training. Murray – the former Mansfield Town manager – was also caretaker before the appointment of Struber, drawing three and losing two of his five games as the Reds fell to the bottom of the Championship.
Whoever is appointed will become Barnsley’s fifth head coach under the current owners, a consortium led by Paul Conway and Chien Lee who took over in December 2017. The Reds are looking for their tenth coach in as many years.