BARNSLEY captain Cauley Woodrow admits they did not expect to be in the relegation zone at this stage but believes they can ‘still have a really good season.’
The 26-year-old striker admits it has been a difficult campaign after they finished fifth last season. Markus Schopp’s Barnsley are second-bottom in the Championship after six straight losses, and winless in 12 since August.
Woodrow told the Chronicle: “It’s definitely hard. There have been a lot of changes in the club which is never easy. We thought we would be a lot higher than we are. We’re not, so we have to focus on getting ourselves out of this situation. We have been on the same points as we were last season and we finished in the play-offs. I am not saying we’re going to do that again but we’ve definitely got enough time to climb the table and still have a really good season. Confidence is a bit low because we’re losing games but there is definitely still confidence there.”
He added: “We all have to step up, it’s easy when times are good but these are the times you have to show character.
“The majority of players took us to the play-offs last season. It wasn’t a fluke, we consistently performed well. We just need to forget about our position, let our football do the talking and hopefully the wins and points will follow.”
Woodrow was part of the squad that did not win for 17 games in late 2018 but stayed up on the last day under Gerhard Struber. He said: “The players who were at the club then know what that situation is like. We don’t bring it up a lot but we do talk about it sometimes. We’ve done it before and we can do it again. It was under a possession-based manager like now and we got ourselves out of trouble.”
Callum Brittain and Devante Cole have both appeared to criticise Schopp in recent weeks. Woodrow said: “We’re behind him. The results haven’t been great but the performances have shown we’re giving everything for the gaffer. It’s a results business but we have to keep going. Everyone can see we haven’t downed tools. When times are going not so well, there are lots of thing that can be said. It’s probably just emotions after the game. They were just getting things off their chest.”
Woodrow has taken most of Barnsley’s corners and free-kicks in recent weeks.
“I’m taking corners because it’s what I’m asked to do. Maybe the coaches have seen I have a good delivery. I took a few last season. I want to take them if I am asked to, I am happy taking them.
“I could be in the box scoring but I am taking corners because the staff think it’s the best thing for the team.”
Woodrow was shouted at by some fans following the defeat to Millwall earlier this month. He said: “I don’t get fans like that. As fans, you have to stick by your team when they’re not doing well. If there’s a fan who thinks we’re not trying, they’re not watching the games right. The running stats are exactly the same as last season. The majority of fans are great but the fans that abuse the players, that time it was me, I have no time for them.”
Woodrow played for tomorrow’s hosts Bristol City, starting three times and scoring twice in a 14-game loan spell from Fulham in 2017/18. The Robins have the worst home record in the EFL, not winning there for nine months.
“It’s nice playing against an old team.
“I have scored against them a few times in the last minute at Oakwell and I would be buzzing to do that down there in front of their fans. They’re struggling a bit in terms of their home form so we can go there with just the thought of winning. It’s the sort of team that maybe suits us, we can hopefully take the ball off them high up the pitch and punish them. Their big pitch suits our style. We’re due a win and hopefully it can come against Bristol, then we have two big games after that against teams in and around us.
“Hopefully it is the start of a mini run.”