Martin Devaney bemoaned his side’s costly errors as Barnsley U23s suffered their first home defeat of the Professional Development League campaign on Friday.
The young Reds were beaten 4-1 by Wigan Athletic, with the visitors registering four different scorers at Oakwell.
Jordan Barnett netted a late goal in stoppage time, but it proved to be little more than a consolation on a tough afternoon for the hosts.
“One thing you can’t do in football is take things for granted and I think the players were outworked,” insisted Devaney. “We’ve got to do the horrible stuff – running, grafting and pressing – and they didn’t do that.
“We had a great opportunity in the first minute to go in front and should score. In terms of their goals, it’s not as if they carved us open – three of them are mistakes, so that’s disappointing. We didn’t create a lot of chances either, which is also disappointing.
“The only plus, really, is seeing Jordan Helliwell play 45 minutes.”
After coming close in the opening stages, Barnsley struggled to create many clear-cut opportunities against a Latics side full of confidence following an impressive victory over Charlton Athletic.
The Reds had found the Midas touch on home soil this campaign, but were unable to continue their early-season form against Wigan.
“For whatever reason, it just didn’t happen,” continued Devaney. “But I’ve said to the players, when you set yourself high standards you’ve got to maintain that; they didn’t do that against Wigan and didn’t deserve to create chances.”
Up next for our U23s is a trip to Nottingham Forest on Friday 27 September.
The young Reds will be looking to bounce back at the Wilford Lane Training Ground, but are in for a stern examination against a table-topping Forest side.
“Forest are a big club and always do well in the under 23s,” admitted Devaney. “The lads will have to work hard all week because they’re going to be in for a tough game on Friday.”