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18 January 2021



18 January 2021

Ahead of our Sky Bet Championship clash with Watford, Valérien Ismaël insists the Reds are able to compete with the best teams in the division.

Barnsley have shown their credentials against the pace-setters in recent weeks and, although they came unstuck against Norwich City and Swansea City, they more that matched the promotion favourites with encouraging displays.

“We saw really clearly against Swansea that teams have to adapt to our style because after 20 minutes Swansea completely changed their way to play football,” said Ismaël.

“Norwich changed in the second half and that’s why it gives us a new strategy that we have to adapts as well and defend, but it’s a good feeling to know that the opponent have to have more solutions against us.

“We believe more in our principles, we believe in our strengths and we know that we are unpleasant for the opponent. Now we need the next step and that is to be more confident in our defensive set-pieces, to avoid the mistakes and to keep the game alive.”

Our 1-0 victory over the Hornets at the tail end of October was Ismaël’s second game in charge of the Reds, with Alex Mowatt netting a trademark screamer to secure three impressive points.

Heading into the clash at Vicarage Road, our Head Coach is confident of a repeat performance, asserting that his team is always learning.

“We saw in the first game at home, we played very well against Watford and got a clean sheet, we played without mistakes and were clinical – that’s why we can build on that game,” continued Ismaël.

“We have played a lot of games since then and now we have more confidence; we know exactly what we must do against Watford and what we must improve on to stay in the game all the time.

“We can compete, especially against the top teams and that’s why we’re looking forward to the game. We know that we will be ready for the game and know exactly what we have to improve on and it’s a good feeling to go into the game and know exactly where we have to be better. We have to stay that way. It’s a normal process for young guys to develop.”

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

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