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11 January 2021

Speaking after our Emirates FA Cup victory over Tranmere Rovers on Sunday afternoon, Valérien Ismaël expressed his satisfaction at a job well done against lower league opposition.

Cup ties are always a potential banana skin and our Head Coach opted to select a strong line-up to ensure Barnsley secured safe passage to the fourth round.

“I take this competition very seriously,” asserted Ismaël. “I know if you make too many changes or rotations it will be very difficult and we need the confidence.  

“We move to the next round and, in the cup, it’s always very tricky because you don’t know exactly what’s happened. If you see the results, some big teams lost and that’s why I’m very delighted that we move into the next round.

“We deserved it; it was a tough game with a lot of duels and we defended very well and fought for each other.”

There was still an element of rotation within the game for Barnsley, with Michael Sollbauer and Callum Brittain both withdrawn in the second half to give valuable minutes to Toby Sibbick and Jordan Williams.

Sibbick hadn’t played competitively in 11 months after loan spells with Heart of Midlothian and KV Oostende, while Williams has been sidelined with a niggling injury for the past couple of months.

“We integrated Jordan Williams and Toby Sibbick,” continued Ismaël. “For me, it’s like two new players as well and I think it was a good afternoon for us. Now we have one week more to work for the next game against Swansea at home and we need all the players.

“We have a long way still to go and that’s why we need all the games to improve and integrate the guys, but to give the guys the right sign to say we play with our best 11 to win the game, to prepare for the next game and to have this feeling that we have got the job done.”

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

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