Barnsley defender Michael Sollbauer has admitted he is not happy with his first performances for the club.
Sollbauer arrived at the club in the January transfer window, joining the Championship side from Wolfsberger AC in a £450,000 deal.
He was immediately thrown into the deep end at his new club, making his debut in 4-2 defeat to Portsmouth in the FA Cup the day after he signed.
He’s since gone on to become a regular for them, making eight appearances for Barnsley in the Championship and playing the full ninety minutes in all those games.
It took until his fifth game with the Tykes until he could take victory with a 3-0 win over Fulham and the 29-year-old admits he was not pleased with his initial performances.
“At the beginning, everything was very eventful,” he told Sky Sports Austria.
“I travelled to England, did the medical check, signed the contract, trained for 40 minutes once and played 90 minutes in the FA Cup in Portsmouth the next day.
“I’m not at all satisfied with my performances in the first matches. I wasn’t able to help the team the way I intended to.
“This is partly due to a lack of coordination with my colleagues, but also to the way my opponents played.
“It’s not necessarily about intensity, but it’s just a different kind of football.
“Much back and forth, much high and far. There is less emphasis on the beauty of the game, much more on the effectiveness.”
Sollbauer’s arrival at Oakwell came as a surprise to many given his age doesn’t fit with the strategy the club have put in place.
Under Gerhard Struber, the club have made it a priority to target younger players, with the idea being they can plan for the future.
At 29-years-old, Sollbauer doesn’t fit into that bracket and admits he is grateful for the club for putting aside their philosophy.
“I always had in mind that if an opportunity came along, that felt right, I wanted to take it. With the offer from England I knew: I want to do it.”
“I’m very grateful to Gerhard Struber and also to those responsible at Barnsley for briefly putting aside their philosophy of only signing young players.
“The timing was also very good in my private life. My wife is currently on maternity leave, and our little one is far from going to kindergarten.
“I make no secret of the fact that at this point in my career, not only the sporting but also the financial aspect was an argument.”
When football eventually returns, Barnsley’s attention will be firmly on trying to escape the relegation battle they currently find themselves in.
They currently sit bottom of the Championship and seven points from safety, with Hull currently 21st on 41 points.
With 11 games of the season remaining, there is plenty of opportunities to drag themselves out of their current predicament, and Sollbauer is convinced this can be achieved.
“The points average is perfectly okay,” he added.
“You have a chance to win against anyone in this league, but you can also lose to anyone.
“We often don’t finish promising situations well enough, so we have to improve. Sometimes we also lack experience, so we sometimes misjudged situations on the defensive.
“But the way Gerhard Struber lets us play, it’s absolutely rewarded here. Now we don’t have much left to lose.
“In the nine “finals” we have some opponents who are high up in the table. It’s easier to play against them because they also want to play football.
“I want to convey to the team that you can achieve a turnaround with every game; I have that experience. But it will be very close until the end.”