Despite falling to a 1-0 defeat against Norwich City on Saturday afternoon, Valérien Ismaël was pleased with the way his side approached the game and believes Barnsley should have got more out of the contest.
The Reds more than matched their table-topping hosts and it was only a moment of magic from Emi Buendia that separated the two teams, as he swept home Kenny McLean’s inch-perfect through ball on the volley.
“I think it was another great performance, especially in the first half,” insisted Ismaël. “We played very aggressive out of possession; we found all the time the solution against them because they tried another build-up to get the space.
“We are on the way because this is a feeling that we are disappointed because we come to Norwich and didn’t get the result like we wanted, and it’s a great feeling to increase our level. Now it’s a learning process for us to have more belief in our principal, more belief that we can beat such an opponent and we have time to improve.”
In an exciting encounter at Carrow Road, Barnsley came close to opening the scoring through Luke Thomas, who saw his shot clip the top of the bar.
Jack Walton was also in fine form as he produced a string of fine saves to keep Mario Vrančić, Teemu Pukki, Jacob Sørensen and Todd Cantwell at bay.
However, the Reds almost snatched a late point when Callum Styles fired a ball across the box but the stretching Michal Helik prodded agonisingly wide deep into stoppage time.
“We had the possibility to score with Luke Thomas in the first half and, for sure, against Norwich at the top of the table you don’t have many chances to score – you maybe get two or three in such a game and you have to be clinical,” asserted our Head Coach.
“In the second half, we didn’t put pressure on the ball. Norwich played more balls in behind, ran in behind and scored the goal like this. After, for us, it was a question to stay in the game until the end and we fought until the end and created some situations. We created one last chance for Michal and that’s what we want to see – that we keep going until the end.”
You can watch Valérien's post-match interview on iFollow Barnsley.