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Devaney: "Our organisation and shape was really good."

U23s coach praises impressive performance

3 September 2019

Martin Devaney was delighted following our U23s stunning 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Monday afternoon.

They young Reds claimed their second win of the Professional Development League campaign thanks to an Elliot Simoes brace and one from Chris Sang at Oakwell.

“It was fantastic against a very good Crystal Palace team in terms of them being a Premier League club, with young internationals in their team,” said Devaney.

“Jack [Walton] didn’t have to make too many saves and I think that shows how hard the forwards and midfielders worked and how we executed the press. Our organisation and shape was really good, and Palace just found it really difficult – they might have had an off day, but we made it easier for the back four and goalkeeper with the way we played.”

It was a tremendous attacking performance from Barnsley, who were perhaps unfortunate not to add to their three goals against the Eagles.

Clarke Oduor came close and a few Jordan Barnett crosses narrowly evaded the stretching Sam Fielding as Devaney’s side continued to force the issue.

However, the U23s coach reserved special praise for the goal scorers, who proved to be the difference against a strong Palace outfit.

“We’ve done a lot of work with Elliot regarding his final third; it takes time,” continued Devaney. “All of his hard work on the training ground and in the gym with the sports scientist is starting to pay off, and it’s starting to come together nicely.

“I think Chris needed that – he’s been up and down – and, when he’s not in the team he gets frustrated, so I’m really pleased for him to get his goal. I’m pleased for all the boys though and when you get players playing at seven or eight out of ten, that’s when you get convincing wins like we did.”

The U23s aren’t back in action until Friday 13 September when they host Colchester United at the Oakwell Training Ground.

It will give Devaney plenty of time to prepare for the encounter, and he insists his players are enjoying being out on the training ground.

“It just makes training easier,” asserted the U23s coach. “I think the lads have been excellent over the last 12 months and the last time we lost a home game was to Birmingham – that’s nearly 11 months ago. So when you’re winning, it breeds confidence and makes it a lot easier for me.

“Everyone is really upbeat and positive, and winning breeds success. So it’ll be a good two weeks and we’ll have a couple of days where we can relax, but, in terms of individuals, they’re all pushing and wanting to do better, and results are probably the last thing – it’s about performances, and their individual performances were very good.”

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