Poya Asbaghi: Barnsley appoint Sweden Under-21 boss as new head coach

Poya Asbaghi leaves Sweden's under-21 set-up with the side top of their European U21 Championship qualifying group
Poya Asbaghi leaves Sweden's under-21 set-up with the side top of their European U21 Championship qualifying group

Barnsley have appointed Sweden Under-21 boss Poya Asbaghi as their new head coach following the exit of Markus Schopp earlier in November.

The 36-year-old previously managed Dalkurd FF, Gefle IF and IFK Gothenburg before joining Sweden's youth set-up.

Asbaghi replaces Schopp, who was sacked after a run of one win from 15 league games and seven consecutive defeats.

"As we went through our recruitment process it was clear he will take us forward," CEO Khaled El-Ahmad said.

"We would like to thank [caretaker manager] Jo Laumann and the first-team coaching staff for their continued hard work and professionalism over the past few weeks during what has been a transitional period for the club."

Laumann has taken charge of the Championship side on a temporary basis following Schopp's departure, and won his first game in charge against Derby before Barnsley's defeat by Hull prior to this month's international break.

Iran-born Asbaghi oversaw 10 games in charge of Sweden Under-21s, including Tuesday's European U21 Championship qualifying match against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.

Although that match ended in defeat - Sweden's first in seven games during qualifying - Asbaghi leaves with the side top of Group F.

Laumann will be in charge for Saturday's Championship fixture against in-form Fulham, while Asbaghi and his assistant Ferran Sibila will take charge from Monday.

Asbaghi will become Barnsley's fifth permanent head coach in just over two years, following on from Daniel Stendel, Gerhard Struber, Valerien Ismael and Schopp.

Can Asbaghi return team to high-pressing style?

Analysis - BBC Radio Sheffield sport editor Andy Giddings

"Certainly the appointment of Poya Asbaghi is intriguing. Highly rated in Sweden, but an unknown in England; he'll have his work cut out to win over the doubters.

"It became clear the Reds players were not enamoured with Markus Schopp's direction, leadership, and style of play so if Asbaghi is to stave off relegation to League One with 29 games remaining clarity will be vital.

"The Swede is known for playing the high-pressing style Barnsley want, but getting the players to do it is another matter."

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