Barnsley: Johnson’s delight at pre-season progress

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Barnsley’s pre-season preparations could not be going any better according to Reds boss Lee Johnson.

The squad returned to the training ground last Wednesday, joined by a mixture of new signings and trialists, as the manager assesses his side ahead of the upcoming League One campaign.

Johnson said that the players would see plenty of the ball during the first few weeks and he has remained true to his word, with a variety of training methods having already been employed.

Speaking exclusively to The Star, he said: “It’s been really really good. It’s a really young group anyway so you do expect them to be able to deal with it physically.

“We’ve worked hard but we haven’t over-pushed them as far as running is concerned. We’ve mixed it up with a bit of short-sharp stuff, we’ve had an in-house game, and done a couple of runs.

“So far it’s all gone swimmingly, but it’s been easy so far because we’ve had no games.”

The manager and his coaching staff have divided the squad in half to accommodate and integrate the new faces, keep a close eye on a number of young trialists, and assess which players are likely to be part of the first-team set-up.

“We’ve made sure we’ve split the group so we’re trying to make it competitive to get into the first team,” he added.

“Whether you’re a trialist or an experienced player you’ve got to be filtered in.

“So they’ve started with the Under-21s and if a trialist has done particularly well we’ve moved them up.

“If they’ve coped we’ve kept them there, if they haven’t coped we’ve dropped them down again and told them they aren’t quite ready yet.

“It’s a case of filtering and trying to get the quality.”

Reds fans will get the first chance to see their side in action when they travel to Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday 11 July.

Kick-off is at 3pm against the Conference North side, with Barnsley expected to take a strong squad across to Greater Manchester.

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