CALLUM Styles says Barnsley’s players and staff are ‘all on the same page now’ after that wasn’t the case earlier in the season, and hopes for further clarity under incoming head coach Poya Asbaghi.
The 21-year-old was a regular in the side that reached the play-offs last season but they now find themselves second-bottom with 11 points from 17 games, four from safety.
Markus Schopp took over in the summer but was sacked three weeks ago, with caretaker Jo Laumann due to oversee tomorrow’s game at Fulham before new man Poya Asbaghi takes over on Monday. Styles told the Chronicle: “Nobody really expected to be where we are but you have to take it in your stride. The games come thick and fast and it is up in the air but you have to step back, realise what’s going on and then sort out the problems and go again.
“A lot of the staff left from last season. I think the main thing is that everyone needs to be on the same page and I don’t think we were.
“That changed with the Derby game (the first match after Schopp’s sacking, which Barnsley won 2-1).
“Then we lost to Hull, we were poor but that happens in football sometimes.
“We’ve had a good break and we’re ready for the next game.”
This is the first time in Styles’ time as a regular Barnsley starter that the team has gone through a long run of bad form.
“It’s different but a lot of stuff happens in football, ups and downs and you don’t know what’s round the corner.
“You just have to take it in your stride and do the best you can.”
Barnsley fans watched from home as the Reds finished fifth last season but, since they have returned to stadiums, the team has won two of 19 games.
Styles said: “They were with us through lockdown, obviously they weren’t in the stands but they got to celebrate last season. It’s good to have them back in and hopefully we can turn it around and start winning for them.”
On Asbaghi, Styles said: “I don’t know much about him, I just know he’s from Sweden under 21s and I’ve heard they play good football so I’m excited.
“The club had some time with the break to get the job filled and we’re all excited to see him on Monday.
“We’re excited to see what philosophy he brings, we’ll all get behind him.
“You want to play nice attractive football but then also you want to win games and it’s a tough league.
“You need a clear philosophy.”
Styles has played 16 of Barnsley’s 18 matches so far this season, scoring in the 1-1 draw with Birmingham City at Oakwell in August.
He has mainly been used at left wing-back despite starting the season hoping to play in his natural position of central midfield. He said: “I would have liked to have contributed more but I think the whole team would say that.
“We just want to turn it around now, it’s been long enough.
“We haven’t been good enough. We’ve tried our best, but it hasn’t clicked.”