Following our hard-fought 1-1 draw against Cardiff City in the 21/22 Sky Bet Championship opener, Markus Schopp praised his Barnsley side for their performance against a ‘physical’ opponent.
The Reds came from behind to claim a richly deserved share of the spoils in South Wales and, over the course of the game, perhaps could have taken all three points from a venue that hasn’t been a particularly happy hunting ground in recent years.
“We worked a lot; it’s tough to play against a team like Cardiff because they’re so physically strong – every set-piece, every throw-in, you have to compete and be there,” asserted our Head Coach.
“That was our first goal for this game that we want to defend as a team and with all the passion we have and when you see this over 90 minutes, the lads did it really well.”
Toby Sibbick proved to be the unlikely hero for Barnsley in the Welsh capital as he latched onto Josh Benson’s wonderful diagonal pass before surging forward and firing low into the far corner.
It was our versatile defender’s first goal for the club and, while Schopp was delighted with the 22-year-old’s contribution, he believes the Reds had opportunities to create more openings in the final third.
“It was an amazing pass from Josh; he opened the game,” lauded the Austrian. “It was a great first touch and I’m glad for Toby because he really works hard, so it was good for someone to score in such an important game. It’s the opener – it’s always important to have something on the score board.
“To be honest, we could make more. We created a couple of chances, but there were a couple of moments in transition where we took too much time with the first and second touch and, in this moment, we don’t have this time.
“So, we have to improve there because it will become tougher and tougher, so we have to get better in this moment of the game.”
It had been 526 days since the Reds had a vociferous backing on their travels, and the 900 or so who made the 450-mile round trip to South Wales certainly made themselves heard throughout.
Schopp commended our loyal supporters, insisting football just isn’t the same without fans in stadia.
“After this first 90 minutes I think we deserved this point,” he continued. “I guess we deserved probably a bit more, but it was great to play with the crowd – the support from Barnsley was unbelievable; so many people were cheering us and that makes it much nicer for us to drive home with this point.
“It’s so important to have the crowd back again; it’s a different game. To have this support from Barnsley was amazing, so I’m really glad that we made this point because we deserved it and the fans did too.”
You can watch Markus’ post-match interview on iFollow Barnsley.