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27 December 2020

Following our dramatic win against Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day, Valérien Ismaël praised his side’s resilience and desire to never give in as Michal Helik’s double ensured Barnsley claimed bragging rights in the Yorkshire derby.

With time virtually up at Oakwell, Herbie Kane’s long throw was flicked on by Mads Andersen into the path of our Polish defender who prodded home from close range to spark scenes of jubilation amongst the Reds’ players and staff.

“It’s only finished when the ref whistles and I think the Birmingham game was the changing point for the guys in their belief,” insisted Ismaël. “We’ve done it one time, two times, three times and now it’s in the DNA and it’s why we know now we have to stay that way, to believe in ourselves, to get the points. It’s a very good feeling.

“We were stable defensively and it was another very good performance, and I think it was important to believe in ourselves until the end and win this game like this. It will, for sure, give us more confidence.”

In recent weeks, Barnsley have shown their ability to score goals from different scenarios; long range piledrivers, flowing team moves, set-pieces – you name it!

Helik is the eighth different player to have netted since Ismaël took charge at the end of October and our Head Coach believes it is important that the whole team continues to chip in over the course of the season.

“We need every player,” he asserted. “Maybe in the last few weeks, it was more Callum Styles or Cauley Woodrow or Victor Adeboyejo, but now it’s a defender that gets the highlight and I think it’s a sign of the flexibility in the team that danger comes from everywhere on the pitch. 

“Everyone has to be aware and, if we need set-pieces to win the game, the centre-backs have to do it and that’s why I’m overjoyed about Michal’s performance and contribution to the team.”

You can watch Valérien’s post-match interview on iFollow Barnsley.

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