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17 January 2021

Following our 2-0 defeat against Swansea City on Saturday evening, Valérien Ismaël delivered an honest assessment, insisting that his side need to cut out ‘stupid mistakes’.

Barnsley were undone by a long throw routine and a defensive mix-up either side of the interval in a game where the visitors rarely threatened on a frustrating night at Oakwell.

“I think that we played the first half very strong; exactly the game plan,” began Ismaël. “We were completely in the game, controlled a lot of situations, controlled the strengths of the opponent and created a lot of situations and it was a good feeling. 

“We conceded this goal just before half-time, but we came in the changing room and the feeling was OK – we can come back in the game. We did it already, it’s just about staying in the game and to keep the pressure high.

“When you come out and concede a goal like this, it’s simply stupid because we killed our performance with such a mistake and it’s, all the time, the same story for the moment. We made a great performance but made a stupid mistake where it’s easy to clear the ball.”

The Reds continued to show their fighting spirit throughout the game, particularly after conceding the second goal, with Callum Brittain coming closest to making the breakthrough – seeing his 30-yard piledriver expertly clawed out of the top corner by Freddie Woodman.

Unfortunately, Barnsley were unable to find a way past the Sky Bet Championship’s meanest defence and Ismaël was left reflecting what might have been.

“We saw that we can score at any time until the end,” continued our Head Coach. “We tried to find a solution to score and maybe come back into the game and make another chance to come from behind, but the second goal killed us and it’s frustrating to lose like this. 

“If the opponent is much better than us, we can say: ‘OK’ but this was not the case, it’s the feeling that we helped very strongly and it’s frustrating. We have to learn quickly if we want to win such a game in the future. If we can do this, we can compete at this level.”

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

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