MADS Andersen is approaching his 150th Barnsley game but says he is still learning plenty in League One under Michael Duff.
The Danish centre-back, 24, is in his fourth season with the Reds which have seen a last-minute relegation escape, a Championship play-off semi-final, last season’s last-placed finish and now a possible promotion challenge in League One. He has played 146 games and is now captain. Did he expect to play this many games for the club when he signed?
“No,” Andersen told the Chronicle.
“I didn’t think about that. I just came here to get as many games as I could and develop. I am still learning.
“This season I am learning again under the new gaffer Michael.
“I am very happy with him sharing his knowledge. I try to improve as much as I can and learn from him.”
Andersen has been taught a ‘dancing move’ by Duff.
The defender explained: “It is about always being on your toes so you are always one step ahead of the opposition.
“Then you crunch the pitch and duck away to get in front of them. It makes it very difficult for the strikers.”
Barnsley are now in League One so do not have any international breaks, while there are far fewer midweek matches than in their last two Championship seasons. Andersen said: “It’s been different. I was so used to playing so often.
“We played Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday. Now we get a break for four or five days. You have to adapt your body to having one game a week.
“You can focus more on training which is great. I am happy.”
Barnsley have the joint best defensive record in League One, with Andersen playing in the middle of the back three alongside Tom Edwards and Liam Kitching recently. They have been on good form since switching to a 3-5-2 formation in late October.
“We have a good structure. It’s not only the defence, it starts from the top.
“I am very happy with the work-rate of the strikers and midfielders. It makes the job easier for us in behind.
“With the 3-5-2, we have the balance right. It gets more midfielders in the box then us as defenders can control the rest defence. It’s working great.”
Andersen has enjoyed watching the World Cup when he can, especially the Denmark games.
“They played when we played on Saturday. Everyone is watching it in Denmark but I am fine with being here.
“This is my life. I have to focus on me.
“I am just enjoying watching the games from the television and supporting the lads.”