Young left back Ben Williams branded the Reds ‘unlucky’ following their 3-2 away defeat to Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Saturday afternoon, but says they need to cut out ‘silly errors’ if they are to start picking up points on the road this season.
Barnsley showed character and resilience to come from behind twice in Head Coach, Gerhard Struber’s first game in charge and looked on course to have secured what would have been at least a well-deserved point, but an 86th minute close-range strike from Bradley Dack saw Blackburn snatch all three points at the death.
Speaking after the match, Williams, who was released by Rovers as a teenager said: “I think we came out of the game with so much credit, but it’s just frustrating again after a good performance.
“Everyone was in the meeting with the gaffer after we came off the pitch and said we battered them all game and were the better team.
“I think all three goals were individual errors, so we’ve got to try and cut them out because it’s killing us.
“To come here and think we could have won the game is obviously frustrating and we’re not coming away with anything, but we’ve just got to use that momentum going into the next game. The performance today was good, but it wasn’t the result we wanted.”
He went on to say: “We definitely need to stop hurting ourselves. In this league, you can’t be making errors like that because you’ll get punished.
“They only really created those three chances, but they’ve put them all away which shows just how ruthless the Championship is. We’ve got to cut them out in terms of moving forward, but the performance today showed how well we can play.
“I couldn’t fault us with our desire and work rate. I thought when we got it back to 2-2, we had been the better team for a while and we could have maybe gone on to snatch it, but that’s football and if you don’t take your chances, the other team will go up the other end and punish you for it.”
Despite the result, the Welsh U21 international was encouraged by the signs in Struber’s first match on the touchline and was delighted to get the nod to play after a difficult couple of weeks.
The appointment of the Austrian coach provided Oakwell with a lift on Wednesday, as the 42-year-old joined the Reds from Wolfsberger AC and Williams has enjoyed working under the new Head Coach in the past couple of days.
“It’s been a frustrating last six weeks for me in terms of the game-time. I’m not the type of player who wants to settle for not playing.
“Obviously, a new gaffer has come in this week and it’s been a breath of fresh air. All the lads have taken to it well, they’ve bought into his strategy and for me, it’s a good feeling to be back playing.
“I want to keep my spot now and try to make it mine until the end of the season. It’s healthy competition, but we are all spurring each other on.
“We left everything out on the pitch today and in the end it’s just bitterly frustrating because you know every single player has put so much effort into it. However, we’ve got to move on from that now and everyone needs to rally together because the results will start to come.”
The Reds set up in an exciting 4-1-2-1-2 narrow formation at Ewood Park, operating as a diamond with four midfielders at the heart of the pitch, a philosophy well-known to Struber from his time managing in the Austrian Bundesliga.
Williams says it’s a formation which works well for Barnsley and allows the Reds to show the attacking quality they have to offer.
“It’s a formation which allows me to get forward which is very useful for me in terms of the attacking threat I pose down the left and it’s the same with Toby [Sibbick] down the right.
“It also allows the link up in midfield which I thought was excellent today. I found myself with a lot of time down the outside, especially in their half.
“That’s obviously promising for us and I think everyone has bought into that formation now and I think it showed today. The performance was actually one of the positives and that will definitely help us going forward.
“We are all confident in ourselves. We are working well as a team and we know we have what it takes to keep ourselves in this league.
“This is where we belong. The results haven’t been going for us recently, but it doesn’t knock the confidence and every single game, we’ll pick ourselves up and go again.”