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Interviews

VALÉRIEN ISMAËL PRE-NORWICH CITY

21 January 2021

Ahead of our Emirates FA Cup fourth round tie with Norwich City this weekend, Valérien Ismaël says he is hoping Barnsley can turn the recent positive displays into victories.

The Reds have faltered ever so slightly over the past couple of weeks in terms of results, but have more than matched their high-flying opponents with little reward.

“We are looking to win the next game and we need our players,” began Ismaël. “The only change we make is Brad Collins for Jack Walton but, for sure, we will play with our best team.

“First of all, we want to stay in our rhythm because the performances for the team are very good for the moment and we need to play the game. We need to reward ourselves now and we need our best team.”

Our last meeting with the Canaries was at the start of the month, with Emi Buendia’s goal midway through the second half all that separated the two teams at Carrow Road.

Ismaël is predicting another keenly contested encounter when Daniel Farke’s side travel to Oakwell on Saturday, insisting the defeat in Norfolk will drive Barnsley on.

“The cup is a 50-50 situation,” continued our Head Coach. “Everyone has a chance to win. You saw the results last time – it was very close, even for the Premier League clubs. We have our chance; we know we can compete and at Norwich it was a close, tight game last time.

“This time we want to go through; this is our purpose, this is our motivation to make it better because it’s time now to reward ourselves.”

A cup winner in France and Germany as a player, the magic of domestic competition is not lost on Ismaël, who has instilled a positive mindset on everyone in the changing room.

The Reds’ Head Coach wants his side to use the FA Cup as an opportunity to showcase their abilities and demonstrate why they have enjoyed success so far this season.

“I love the cup competition in any country,” asserted Ismaël. “It’s the same with the FA Cup – it’s something special.

“We take the competition very seriously; it’s a chance to advertise the team on our way to play football, for people to speak positively about Barnsley and that’s why we have to use it, take our chance and we will fight from the first minute until the end.”

You can watch Valérien’s press conference on iFollow Barnsley.


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