The Lancashire-based club registered their first win under the management of interim boss Frankie McAvoy on Monday, beating promotion-contenders Swansea 1-0.
McAvoy, who oversaw his second game as Preston’s caretaker manager, switched to a back three and deployed Liverpool defender Van den Berg as a right wing back.
Despite being a central defender, the 19-year-old excelled in the role and helped Preston to a narrow 1-0 win over the Swans, leaving Lilywhites team-mate Barkhuizen impressed.
Barkhuizen, who operated on the left flank, hailed Preston’s performance as a team, but reserved special praise for Van den Berg and pointed out how he bombed up and down the pitch despite playing out of position, helping the side counter Swansea’s tactics.
“The whole team today was brilliant“, Barkhuizen told the club’s website.
“We defended well, we kept a great clean sheet.
“Dan [Iversen] is so good off his line, he comes out and smothers things, Sepp’s bombing up from right wing back when he’s probably never played right wing back before, and then two in midfield are nice and solid and good on the ball.
“It gives the three in front licence to go forward and stay forward and try to get goals for us.
“We haven’t necessarily scored the goals and it’s an own goal today [Monday; ed.], but the fact is we’re posing a real threat and that’s the most important thing.
“They figured out our formation and started to drop the full backs out a little bit more and make the wingers play a bit wider.
“But fair play to Frankie, he’s told us to keep being aggressive.
“I think that’s why me and Sepp were in there because we’re both on the front foot.
“I know I’m more of a winger but he’s so quick and strong that he likes getting up and down and he knows that I’ll get up and down.“
Van den Berg has made ten Championship appearances for Preston since joining them on loan from Liverpool in the winter transfer window.