New Barnsley coach Valérien Ismaël has admitted he ‘immediately felt something’ when the club contacted him to replace Gerhard Struber.

The Tykes have been on the hunt for a new manager since the beginning of the month after Struber made a surprise move to New York Red Bulls in MLS.

Several names have been linked since but they eventually settled on former LASK coach Valérien Ismaël, with the 45-year-old signing a three-year deal last week.

The move was not a surprising one from Barnsley, who have regularly made left-field choices when appointing new managers in recent years.

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For Ismaël, the move represents his foray into management in England, and he says there were several reasons for accepting the offer.

“There were some offers. Some I cancelled, others I was rejected,” he told Sport 1.  

“When the person in charge called four weeks ago, I immediately felt something. There were two reasons for this. For one, I had to take the chance to work in English football.  

“This is really something special. I experienced that myself as a player back then. There is a completely different mentality in England. It’s a huge thing to get a foothold here as a coach.

“(Also) the philosophy of the club absolutely fits mine. The club is ready to go my way and gives me every opportunity to enforce this philosophy.  

“The environment is very pleasant for me to take my first steps in Barnsley. The club has manageable goals this season. I can work in peace.

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Ismaël will have big shoes to fill at Barnsley, with Struber having been universally loved at the club after leading them to safety last season.

The Tykes will be hoping for a more comfortable campaign than that this time around and are currently 16th in the table after eight games.

If they are to progress, developing an understanding with Ismaël quickly will be absolutely vital, and that is something their new coach is more than aware of.

“The most important principles are enormous intensity, high pressing and also vertical play with a quick finish,” he added.

“I like to play a 3-4-3. The opponent has to be approached all the time. And when I have the ball, I want my team to develop further.

“But first, I would like to see step by step where I have to start with my philosophy. I now need the games so that the team can develop under me.”