Next Barnsley Manager: Three options to replace Daniel Stendel at Oakwell

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 08 October 2019, 10:29

Barnsley have sacked Daniel Stendel five months after the German led the club back into the Championship.

Stendel enjoyed a cracking debut season in charge of the Tykes, rejuvenating a club that had just suffered relegation from the Championship. His side went through the season undefeated on their own patch, and only league winners Luton accumulated more points overall.

However, Barnsley have so far struggled to adjust to life back in the second-tier, with a return of one win from their opening 11 games leaving them 23rd in the table, two points adrift of safety.

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Despite Barnsley’s poor form this season Stendel, who boasts the third-highest managerial win rate (47%) in the club’s history, departs with his head held high.

Below we take a look at three potential candidates for the Championship’s newest vacancy...

Adam Murray

Barnsley have confirmed that Adam Murray has been placed in caretaker charge following Stendel’s exit.

Murray arrived at Barnsley in August 2018 as the club’s U18s head coach, on the back of managerial posts at Mansfield, Boston, an assistant role at Guiseley, and Lead Youth Development Phase at Burton Albion.

Upon his appointment at Mansfield in November 2014, Murray (then 33) became the youngest manager in the top-4 tiers of English football. He saved the club from relegation out of the Football League, then in his first full season led the Stags to 12th - which at the time was their highest finish since 2004.

Murray went on to guide Boston to National League North safety, then last season he steered the Barnsley U18s to 6th Professional Development League with 41 points - a club record total in a 28-game season. His side are currently 5th in the table, although if they win their game in hand they could jump up to 5th.

Providing Barnsley don't make a swift appointment, Murray will have the chance to showcase himself against Steve Cooper's high-flying Swansea on Saturday 19th October.

Nigel Adkins

Still out of work since parting ways with Hull at the end of last season. After a difficult couple of spells at Reading and Sheffield United, Nigel Adkins set about re-building his reputation at Hull, with whom he saved from relegation in 2017/18, then led to a creditable 13th last season in difficult financial circumstances.

Adkins is, however, best known for propelling Southampton to consecutive promotions from League One to the Premier League, before making way for a certain Mauricio Pochettino. The former physio also guided Scunthorpe into the Championship on two occasions.

Given Barnsley’s stuttering start, Adkins’ infectious positivity could be just what the club needs at this moment.

Gary Rowett

Gary Rowett is an inevitable contender, considering that he’s already been linked with each of the three other Championship jobs that have cropped up this season, including the current vacancy at Millwall where he’s now the bookies favourite.

Rowett has a 41.5% managerial win rate from four spells in the dugout, winning more games than he’s lost at each of Burton, Birmingham, Derby and Stoke.

He is currently out-of-work, appears top be keen to return to management, and has plenty of Championship experience to his name.

Rowett led Derby into the play-offs, and perhaps more pertinently he won plaudits for his work at Birmingham, who were down in 23rd at the time of his arrival - same position as Barnley - at a similar stage of the season, only for Rowett to emphatically save the club from relegation by inspiring a 10th place finish.

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Graham Coughlan
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27th October
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