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12 December 2021

Speaking after our 2-1 defeat against Preston North End on Saturday, Poya Asbaghi feels it was another game that his side didn’t deserve to lose.

The Reds performed well for large spells at Deepdale, but a couple of lapses ultimately proved costly as we returned to South Yorkshire empty handed despite an encouraging performance.

“It’s a big blow for us,” admitted Asbaghi. “It’s a disappointing result. I think if someone told me in the 25th or 30th minute in the first half that we would lose this game, I would have bought it because we struggled right there.

“Even though we had a good start, we felt like Preston made their way into the game; we were a little bit stretched as a team – too big a space to play in front of us and in behind. 

“But we ended the first half better and created some chances and knew that if we could be even better in our defence and made small improvements in our offense, it was a game for us to win.

“Looking at us in the second half, we improved a lot, even though we conceded the early goal, I felt that we were the better team.”

Following Cauley Woodrow’s opportunistic equaliser, the Reds were in the ascendency and looked more likely to take all three points from the encounter.

However, Preston hit us with a sucker punch 12 minutes from time as Daniel Johnson peeled away to slot home from a set-piece to give the hosts a priceless victory.

“When we equalised at 1-1 in the middle of the second half, if someone told me we would lose this game, I would not believe them anymore – impossible,” admitted our Head Coach.

“We were creating chances, Morris should have maybe had a penalty, but we accept that because we were creating other chances and pushing them down. 

“Them scoring from the free-kick was, of course, a big, big blow for us.”

Despite falling to defeat in Lancashire, there were still plenty of positive signs to take from the contest – particularly the number of chances Barnsley created over the 90 minutes.

Carlton Morris was denied by the frame of the goal, while Woodrow had a few efforts that narrowly missed the target, and Clarke Oduor also tested North End stopper, Daniel Iversen.

“In offense, there are a lot of improvements,” discussed Asbaghi. “I’ve said this before that I see progress. I think, offensively, we made progress in the last game and, this time, we’ve created even more chances.

“So, we are improving our offense every game and creating more chances every game, but we have to do it in a certain way. While we chase the development of being better in attacking, it cannot come at the cost where we lose something we are already good at. 

“So, what we have had in the previous games is a solid defence, compact organisation, not conceding chances against us – but we were creating much more chances, but at a cost of conceding some.

“I’m really hopeful in terms of offense, but we need to keep building this identity that we have in the correct way.”

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

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