Martin Devaney heaped praise on his U23s side following their 2-0 Yorkshire derby victory over Leeds United on Monday afternoon.
The young Reds were phenomenal from start to finish at Throp Arch and fully merited the three points following a complete performance against the Professional Development League high fliers.
“The lads rose to the challenge and every one of them was fantastic in possession and out of possession; they executed the game plan and I couldn’t have asked for any more from them,” insisted Devaney.
“The discipline and mentality of the players pleased me the most. The way they stuck to the game plan and their attitude towards the game – that showed what we’re all about.”
Barnsley led inside five minutes thanks to Amir Berkovits’ close range finish, before Romal Palmer doubled the lead after the interval as he showed great composure to round Will Huffer and slot home.
The two goals epitomised the young Reds’ approach and Devaney believes the early strike gave his side confidence to go on and claim a priceless win.
“The first goal was key – it probably took a little bit of pressure of us because it helped us in terms of confidence,” continued the U23s coach. “We were up against a really good calibre of player, and we gathered our mentality and composure.
“I’m really, really pleased because Amir took it really well and, in the second half, they found it very difficult – they obviously had a lot of the ball, but we had a great shape, countered and Romal took his chance very well.”
The U23s are now not in action again until the New Year, when they face Birmingham City on 5 January.
It has been a productive end to 2018 for this young crop of players who have picked up seven points from their last three outings, and Devaney is keen for his side to kick on when the Professional Development League resumes.
“It’s a great finish to the first half of the season and I’m really pleased, the boys are buzzing – but they’ve got to realise that they need to maintain those standards and keep that type of performance every week,” insisted Devaney. “If they do, then they’ll have a chance of making it as professional footballers.”