Chief executive Khaled El-Ahmad says he is not surprised by Barnsley’s fifth-placed position in the League One table after 11 games but admits the much-changed squad and staff have gelled quicker than he expected.

The Reds, under new head coach Michael Duff, are unbeaten in six games in all competitions, winning their last four.

El-Ahmad told the Chronicle: “I am not surprised. I think we made the right decisions throughout the summer. It started with bringing the players back early from vacation and giving them individual programmes. I felt we were much more ready than last season.

“We had more than 20 players in and out and a new first team coaching staff. Maybe I am surprised with how quickly they have gelled but the results themselves don’t surprise me because I have full confidence in the players and staff.

“It is going in the right direction. The players, staff and everyone around the first team have done a good job. I am pleased.”

El-Ahmad has previously said the aim is to get back to the Championship but is not thinking too far ahead.

“I think it has to be a focus on the next game. We want to win every game possible then see where it takes us at the end of the season.

“You beat Sheffield Wednesday and all is great then you tie with Port Vale. Michael Duff says football owes you nothing I like that. We always have to refocus on the next game or the next training session.”

El-Ahmad believes subtle changes around Oakwell have partly led to success on the pitch.

“We quite early said we want to build a winning culture and togetherness that will carry us through the coming season and other seasons. You can see that identity when you see the team play.

“It started prior to Michael Duff and led to us recruiting a person with his character.

“The first team used to eat in one place and the academy another place, now we all eat together - with the cleaners, the CEO, everyone.

“We have brought in motivational speakers to talk about values. The first team players and staff have created a list of values that we will put up around their part of the stadium.

“We went to the National Coal Mining Museum to connect with the past and understand we are fortunate. Then it’s the intensity and being leaders and taking responsibility.”