Following our 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon, Valérien Ismaël was full of praise for his Reds side for their strength of character.
Barnsley have now won four of their last five outings since the Frenchman took charge at the end of October, but our Head Coach has stressed the importance of remaining focussed ahead of a busy Sky Bet Championship schedule.
“Congratulations to the guys for their performance; this is what we want to see – start strong, finish strong,” began Ismaël. “We knew that the possibility to have five substitutes could be very good for us and we saw it was a very good step in our way to play football.
“The team believed in their strength and that’s why it was a very good result and a very good performance. Another clean sheet is very important for the confidence and the guys can now raise their performance to put it on another level, and that’s what we need.
“We don’t have time to enjoy this or party because we move to the next game quickly and we have to be focussed and professional to move into this next game to win. This is what we want.”
It appeared as though it was going to be a frustrating encounter for the Reds, who were thwarted by the crossbar three times at Oakwell.
But Ismaël insists he always believed that the breakthrough would come and paid tribute to Cauley Woodrow for his magnificent display that saw the striker score and assist.
“This is not our spirit; this is not our feeling,” he continued. “We told the guys at half-time to keep going – we would have our opportunity; be focussed and be ready. The guys did it very well and, for example, Cauley – it was not easy to hit the crossbar twice but he stayed focussed enough to score and it is a quality for a top striker.
“We played exactly like we want. We told the guys in the second half that we needed more courage and we have to show that we can play football, we can hurt this opponent in some area on the pitch and we played more ruthless in the second half. We have to say that the substitutes played very well and we need all the players.”
You can watch Valérien’s post-match interview on iFollow Barnsley.