Barnsley FC chief executive Khaled El-Ahmad does not accept they will definitely go down this season and added that no decision has yet been made on Poya Asbaghi’s future.
Head coach Asbaghi was appointed in late November, when the Reds were four points from safety, following the sacking of Markus Schopp. He has collected 18 points from 21 league matches so far, having broken the club record for longest wait for a manager’s first league win then winning three from four but only one of the last six.
Asked if the Reds wanted Poya to be the head coach next season, El-Ahmad said: “Everyone is under review. No decisions have been made because everyone’s focus is on now.
“I have been very transparent and had an open dialogue with the coaching staff from day one. Everyone knows we went through a very tough spell where I think everyone wanted us to sack Poya.
“We are now putting in processes so there is a continuity in what we do.
“Both Poya and Ferran (Sibila, assistant) and the other coaching staff work hard and do an amazing job.
“It is a question of what he wants, not just the club.”
The Reds are third-bottom in the Championship, eight points from safety with seven games to play.
El-Ahmad told the Chronicle: “We are still in the fight. I think and believe the players had staff that we have can bridge the gap. I will be buying you a coffee when we are in the Championship for the 2022/23 season. We are planning for the future and for the Championship.”
He added: “I don’t accept that relegation. Anything can happen. I have to have that belief. It’s not easy to believe it but I do.
“I think there have been improvements since the January window, we’re in the games but we have let in too many goals at the end of matches. I believe in the players we have and I think the margins are small.”
Asked if Barnsley had let their supporters down, El-Ahmad said: “Result-wise, it’s been tough. Mathematically we are still in the race so I won’t fully answer but it’s been a frustrating season for everyone.”