Barnsley manager admits automatic promotion hopes have taken a knock as Portsmouth and Sunderland close in

Daniel Stendel admitted he’s worried about the points situation in League One.

Monday, 8th April 2019, 6:39 pm
Brett Pitman & Co are making it nervous times for Barnsley. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Barnsley manager has seen his side start to lose form at the crucial time in the promotion race.

They have only managed one win in fives games now.

Sunderland and Pompey, by contrast, are looking strong.

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Defeat to Burton put a big dent in Barnsley’s hopes of clinching second place.

Sunderland are now level and Wembley winners Pompey sit just two points back.

Both teams can get ahead of Barnsley if they win games in hand.

Stendel is not in panic mode but he’s concerned.

Speaking to the Barnsley official website, he said: ‘We aren't in the best position now. But we said in the changing room that we will never give up. The next game is another chance to win three points and we have to see where we end up.

‘We’ve been unbeaten for so long. It's too easy for people to react and forget the run we’ve been on. And after this game, I'm hurting. The players are also.

‘So much is invested into this, we are winners, but every week you have an opponent and on this day they played better than we did and deserved their victory.’

With second position slipping out of their grasp Stendel is adamant his team will keep fighting. They play Fleetwood next on Saturday.

He added: ‘We won't give up. Never. There are 46 games in a season and we see where we finish in May. If we go up automatic or play the play-offs. We've been 11 points behind Portsmouth this season before. We've been seven behind Sunderland. It is not over. We accept it’s not a good position now, but this is football and anything can happen.

‘I believe things will change for us this next, I look forward to lifting heads up and creating the right atmosphere taking us into the Fleetwood game at Oakwell.’