Following our 1-0 defeat against Huddersfield Town in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday, Poya Asbaghi believes his side need to start putting in more complete performances.
The Reds exited at the fourth round stage thanks to Duane Holmes’ first half strike in an opening 45 largely dominated by the hosts, but were much improved after the interval and had decent opportunities to at least level the tie.
“Of course, we wanted to play more games in this cup and tried to stay in it as long as possible,” began Asbaghi. “I think, if we divide the game into two halves, in the first half, Huddersfield were a little bit better than us; we didn’t create the chances we wanted to, and they were getting a little bit too many counter-attacks – which they eventually scored from.
“We came in at half-time and thought we could definitely improve, made some tactical changes – we made three substitutions – and I think the effect of that was good. In the second half, we played much better; we were the dominant team and creating enough chances to at least get the equaliser.”
It looked as though Barnsley had forced extra-time in the dying embers as Michał Helik headed home Josh Benson’s cross in front of the 2,500 travelling supporters, only for the referee to rule it out – seemingly for a push by Amine Bassi on Matty Pearson.
The luck just doesn’t seem to be with us at the moment, with last-gasp goals chalked off in consecutive games, but our Head Coach insists he doesn’t want to use excuses and that his team have to look at themselves.
“We did get the equaliser but, unfortunately for us, we don’t have the decisions with us right now,” continued Asbaghi. “These are decisions and it’s like that when you’re not winning – you usually don’t get decisions.
“You cannot focus so much on the referees because we make mistakes and, sometimes, they can make mistakes; it’s not an easy job for them either. What we can focus on are the things we can control ourselves – to create our own luck.
“If we keep performing like we did for 30 minutes for 90 minutes, then I don’t think we will stand after the game and say because of one decision we didn’t win.”
Our next assignment sees us return to Sky Bet Championship action as we travel to Luton Town on Tuesday evening.
There were positives to take from our second half performance – just as there have been in spells against Bournemouth and Cardiff City in recent outings – and Asbaghi is hoping we can put in a big display at Kenilworth Road.
“I want us to look like what I said for 30 minutes,” asserted our Head Coach. “Obviously, at this level against these kind of teams, it’s not enough for us to have those performances just for 30 minutes. For us, it’s to try and make sure we can perform like that for longer periods – hopefully 90 minutes.
“That’s the reaction I want.
“Coming from the Championship, against Cardiff, where we were really solid defensively and didn’t conceded chances, I’m optimistic that we will have a good enough strength on Tuesday to go there and get our first victory in a while.”
You can watch Poya’s post-match interview on iFollow Barnsley.