Following our hard-earned victory over Watford on Saturday afternoon, Valérien Ismaël expressed his pride at how the Reds performed against one of the best teams in the division.
Alex Mowatt’s trademark rocket inside the opening six minutes proved to be the difference for Barnsley, who showed incredible resolve and even had chances to further extend their lead against the Hornets.
“I’m proud of the guys; it was a tough game,” Ismaël told iFollow Barnsley. “We were ready for this game. The first half was perfect for us – a perfect start with a very good press situation; we stole a lot of balls in the opponent’s half and played very well.
“For sure, in the second half, it was very difficult for us but it’s also good to see that the team can fight for each other – this is what we want to see. We were lucky in some situations with a big chance for Watford but you need this luck in football if you want to make some big wins.”
The most pleasing aspect for our new Head Coach was his side’s work ethic. Watford were rarely given time on the ball to implement their own style as we limited the visitors to very few chances.
It’s back-to-back wins for Ismaël, who has got his Barnsley reign off to a flier, and he is confident that the Reds can have a successful season if they show a similar commitment throughout.
“It was important to see that, when we’re ready to invest all that we have, we can beat anyone,” continued the Frenchman. “This is the message from this game, that we have to be ready to invest 100% on the pitch for everyone and for each other. We can do very, very good things this season.”
However, the win came at a cost as Barnsley lost Callum Brittain at the interval. The full-back has been magnificent since his arrival from MK Dons and adds to a casualty list that includes Jordan Williams, Cauley Woodrow and the long-term injury of Ben Williams.
With such a hectic schedule, knocks and strains are inevitable and Ismaël says there will be a plenty of rotation of his squad between now and May.
“I think it’s very important for the guys to know that we need everyone,” insisted our Head Coach. “We lost Callum Brittain before half-time – another injury, two games in a row that we have lost a very important player. That’s why we need a recovery and to move onto the game on Tuesday and why we have to be ready.”
You can watch Valérien’s post-match interview on iFollow Barnsley.