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21 February 2021

Speaking after our 1-0 victory over Bristol City on Saturday afternoon, Valérien Ismaël praised his side for another fine performance in which they limited their hosts to just one attempt all game.

Barnsley were dominant from start to finish at Ashton Gate and fully merited the win, which was eventually claimed when Carlton Morris swept home from close range after the Robins failed to deal with a corner.

“Congratulations to the guys for the three points,” beamed Ismaël, speaking to iFollow Barnsley. “I think we can say that the team spirit at the moment is excellent – a high level of confidence.

“The game was exactly like we expected and, when you come in against a team that’s lost six times in a row you know it’ll be all about the principle and basics from the Championship; long balls, second balls, duels.

“We controlled a lot of long balls, we didn’t concede one chance and we have to score in the first half. The second half was exactly the same – we were very determined to do something today and we scored from a set-piece, finally, because in the last few games our set-pieces were excellent.”

That shutout was the Reds’ third clean sheet in four Sky Bet Championship outings – a defensive run similar to that when Ismaël first took charge back in October.

After a tough January, Barnsley have excelled so far this month and are now 16 points clear of the drop zone, while sitting just four points outside the play-off places. But our Head Coach is, as ever, taking it one game at a time.

“It’s really important for us to keep a clean sheet,” continued Ismaël. “We had a bad run and conceded a lot of goals and it was difficult to keep a clean sheet. But we know what we can do and we knew that we had to work with the guys to stay focused on the basics and it’s a great feeling that we are more stable.

“We have to keep going now. This is the Championship and, if you see the results, it’s really close and a tough league. Anyone can beat anyone and you can come in a bad run or a good run, but you have to stay focused on the next game.”

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

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