Heading into our Sky Bet Championship clash with Middlesbrough this weekend, Valérien Ismaël says he is delighted with the mentality that Barnsley showed in their last outing at Luton Town.
The Reds responded to a defeat and a draw in their previous two games by keeping up the pressure on teams around them with a 2-1 victory at Kenilworth Road on Easter Monday.
“We saw against Luton that the guys are really focused and professional,” praised Ismael. “I think the guys understood in which situation we are. We’ve worked hard all season and now it’s all about the mentality and desire to come over the line. We want to stay where we are, but we know all the time it is a big fight, a big commitment and the players are dedicated to our task.
“You feel it in training and the players have become more adult in every situation at the minute. Even after the game against Sheffield Wednesday, we saw in the changing room the focus on the guys – they were angry and already focused on the next game against Reading.
“After Reading, we didn’t win and it was exactly the same – they were angry to not win the game. In Luton, we had the next win, so they have the right attitude, the right mentality and the right focus that you need to stay where you are and move forward.
“It’s a big step for the guys and incredible development in the last weeks. They know it’s hard work and we have to stay focused and put the same energy in the next game on Saturday.”
With six games remaining, we’re at a crucial stage of the campaign where every point won or lost could prove to be decisive in the coming weeks.
Ismaël insists that his side will continue with their one-by-one mantra, emphasising that Barnsley will keep fighting as they aim to achieve something special this term.
“The only thing that we’re focused on is that we don’t want to have any regrets at the end of the season,” asserted the Reds’ Head Coach. “That’s why we give everything in every game. We know what we have to do and we are just focused on the next game, the game plan and we know that all the games are very tough.
“The guys are 100% committed, 100% focused on the job. They want to get the job done and the next step is Middlesbrough for us, a big focus on the opponent and another tough game. This is just what the team at the minute has; a big desire.”
You can watch Valérien’s press conference on iFollow Barnsley.