Speaking after his first game at the helm, Poya Asbaghi believes there were positives to take from the overall performance of his side in the 2-0 defeat against Swansea City.
Our new Head Coach only had two days to prepare the Reds for this encounter, but indications of a solid defensive structure were clear to see as we frustrated our visitors from South Wales for large parts of the game.
“It’s a disappointing result, of course, especially when you play in front of the home crowd – you want to give them points; you want to give them a win,” began Asbaghi. “So, of course, that part is disappointing.
“Looking at the game, I think we had a first half where we are defending well. We didn’t let Swansea play through us and didn’t create chances until the last minute where it could have been dangerous but, otherwise, we were a solid block working hard together.”
Goals from Oliver Ntcham and Jamie Paterson after the interval were enough for the Swans to claim all three points on Wednesday evening as Russell Martin’s team eventually made their possession count.
However, it is still early days in Asbaghi’s tenure at Oakwell, and he is still familiarising himself with his squad as he figures out how best to implement his ideology.
“I learnt in the game,” insisted the 36-year-old. “I saw new sides of the players that I didn’t know before. Of course, I have a picture, but I don’t know any player half as much as I want – that’s the truth.
“But I know these things can go fast. In the game, I learnt a lot from what attributes they have – what they’re good at and what they need to develop.
“We have another game on Saturday, then we will have a full training week where you get to see all the players, not just the ones who are playing, so, hopefully, these things can go really fast.”
The Reds’ next assignment is a trip to fellow strugglers Peterborough United this weekend, where three points would be just the tonic for Asbaghi as he looks to pick up a positive result.
With more time to work on the training ground, our Head Coach is hopeful of more encouraging signs when we take on the Posh at the Weston Homes Stadium.
“There’s a lot of things we do well in terms of defence – even if we lose, we cannot neglect that,” discussed Asbaghi. “But, of course, we have to improve a lot and we only have two days, but having those two days before the Swansea game, I felt we developed some things in our defence, for example, in how to have a structure.
“I’m sure that when we have two more days, we can develop something more – maybe not 10 things – but something more. Hopefully, it’s enough to collect the points from Peterborough, then we have to take it from there and we’ll also have a full training week.”
You can watch Poya’s post-match interview on iFollow Barnsley.