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After a miserable run of seven successive league defeats – including last weekend’s 2-1 loss away to Bristol City – Barnsley announced the dismissal of head coach Markus Schopp on Monday morning, after just 125 days in charge of the club.
The Austrian failed to hit the ground running at Oakwell, after replacing Valerien Ismael over the summer, and has left the Tykes sitting 23rd in the Championship with just eight points from 15 games.
Assistant coach Joseph Laumann will now take charge of first-team affairs on a temporary basis, starting with Wednesday’s match against Derby.
Barnsley appear to be a shadow of the side who reached the playoffs last season. The Tykes had 19 points at this stage of the 2020-21 campaign and were sat nine points clear of the relegation zone. Now, only the Rams – who were deducted 12 points earlier this term – are positioned below them in the table.
The Yorkshire outfit were able to claim four points out of six when they played Derby last season, winning 2-0 at Pride Park and drawing 0-0 on home soil. However, they have won just two of their last nine home league games against the Rams, failing to win each of their last three.
With two favourable fixtures up next against the two clubs also sitting in the drop zone, Laumann will be hoping to see an immediate response from his players as they aim to get their season back on track.
However, another defeat for Barnsley would see them extend their losing streak to eight matches for the first time since November 2015.
Derby County’s unbeaten run of five matches came to an end at the hands of Blackburn Rovers, who claimed a 2-1 victory at Pride Park last weekend.
A brace inside the first 20 minutes from Ben Brereton Diaz gave the visitors a two-goal advantage before centre-back Curtis Davies pulled one back in the 89th minute for the hosts, netting his third of the campaign.
Wayne Rooney’s side remain rooted to the foot of the table with just five points and are now seven points adrift of safety, following Cardiff City’s draw with Stoke City, with the prospect of further sanctions on the horizon.
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Derby head into Wednesday’s trip to Oakwell having won only one of their last 16 away games in the Championship – a slender 1-0 win at relegation rivals Hull City earlier this season.
The Rams failed to score in both encounters against Barnsley last season, but were able to find the net 13 times in their previous five meetings, winning three times in the process.
Victory in midweek for Rooney’s men could see Derby move off the foot of the table by goal difference for the first time since being deducted 12 points on September 22.