POYA Asbaghi says both he and Barnsley FC would both have to ‘dance really well to continue’ as they engage in a ‘pretty mutual’ discussion about his future.
The Reds head coach said after Monday’s loss to fellow strugglers Peterborough United – which left them 11 points from safety with four games left – that he would not resign and expected to remain in charge for the remainder of the season no matter what.
The Reds are understood to have a clause in his contract to end his employment at the end of the season.
Asbaghi told the Chronicle yesterday: “It has been pretty mutual discussion along the way. In the end, there won’t be a decision that doesn’t work for both.
“Both will be pretty happy.
“We have been open, we have not excluded anything. It will take both to dance really well to continue.
“We will comment more after the season because it is better to concentrate on the games and no reason to stress things from my part or the club’s part.”
Asbaghi has won four of his 24 league games in charge, the second lowest win percentage of any manager or head coach in Barnsley’s history behind his predecessor Markus Schopp. Both Asbaghi, Schopp, the players and those in charge of recruitment last summer and in January have all been criticised heavily for the disastrous season in which the Reds have won six of 42 league games.
Asked how responsible he felt, Asbaghi told the Chronicle: “Everybody has to take their part. I am a little bit allergic to people blaming other people.
“In this situation it is easy to go into the blame game and try to protect yourself – players, executives, coaches, whoever. It is important not to point too many fingers. I will not talk about what could be better from the players or the people above me. I can only look at myself and what I could do better.”
What could he have done better?
“I could have won more football games, enough to have the control in our hands.
“I could name a lot of things I know I have done well but a lot that could be better. That is the same for any coach.
“If I could have come in and known more about the players in the squad, their mentality and their strengths and weaknesses, we would have had a better start.
“But I came in and didn’t know too much. I did some research but my commitment was to the national team (his previous job with Sweden under 21s).”
Asked if he will learn a lot from his time at Barnsley, Asbaghi said: “Every situation makes you better, if you handle it well. If you win a title or get relegated, you have to be balanced and try to develop. There is a lot of learning from this situation. I am 36. Some coaches have not started when they are 36. I am happy to have this experience even if, of course, I did not want to be relegated. There is a big learning in that.”
On criticism that he is too defensive with this substitutions and general approach, Asbaghi said: “In the last game, we changed our left-back for a striker. The only way you can be more offensive is to change the goalkeeper for a striker. We always try to find a good balance between defence and attack.”
Barnsley have collapsed to bottom of the Championship since finishing fifth last season. Asbaghi, who took over in November, said: “I can feel in the atmosphere that people are hurting.
“For Barnsley to be fighting to stay in the Championship is a pretty normal procedure and last year was a big exception that created expectations which everybody, in the end, was not able handle.
“When I arrived they had lost 11 of the last 12 games and it was a big shock for everybody.
“If last season had not happened maybe it would not be as big a shock.”
The Reds – who have won just one of their last nine matches – are currently on course to record their lowest totals for points and wins in any season since 1952/53, with 30 and six respectively.
Their goals tally of 31 is currently the lowest ever in a season, with the club record being 32 from 1971/72.