Speaking after our 0-0 draw with high-flying West Bromwich Albion on Friday evening, Poya Asbaghi praised his players for the way they put their bodies on the line to keep a clean sheet.
Callum Brittain, Carlton Morris and Michał Helik all made fantastic clearances to save certain goals and keep the visitors at bay, earning what could prove to be a valuable point at the end of the season in the process.
“I think it was good defensive work out there,” insisted Asbaghi. “It was a tough, physical opponent – we knew it before – we really felt it out there. There were moments when the pitch felt like a battlefield, but our players acted like soldiers on the battlefield against a physical opponent.
“They really took the fight and put in the hard work together and, in the end, ended with a clean sheet. The clean sheet also comes out of individual performances defensively where they sacrificed themselves to block the shot, to clear the shot on the line, which is something we really need to have from players in this moment.
“To be able to win the game, we have to perform even better offensively. We started, in the first 15 minutes, offensively pretty good, but the more the game went on, the more we played into their hands having really short attacks, where we need to improve to be able to win.
“But what we take with us is our hard defensive work – good defensive work – and the fighting spirit we showed.”
This draw against a much-fancied Baggies side could prove to be a platform on which to build in the coming weeks, with the result providing renewed belief amongst the squad that they can grind out points when up against it.
However, our Head Coach is looking for the Reds to be more ruthless in the final third and create goal scoring opportunities of their own in order to turn draws into wins.
“Hopefully it will create a lot of confidence that we have a foundation, but I am hoping it creates an awareness – together with the confidence – that we have a job to do,” continued Asbaghi.
“We want to play against these teams and have more to say, offensively, than what we did. We don’t only want to defend against teams like Fulham, West Brom and Bournemouth; we want to defend well, like we did, and show we can keep a clean sheet against anyone, but we also want to push them down more than what we did.
“I’m hopeful that we can be that and we can do that.”
You can watch Poya’s post-match interview on iFollow Barnsley.