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13 March 2022

Following our 1-1 draw with Fulham on Saturday, Poya Asbaghi praised his players for their performance but expressed his frustration at letting two points slip against the league leaders.

Barnsley went ahead through Carlton Morris’ penalty shortly before half-time and looked on course for a priceless victory until Harry Wilson curled home with four minutes remaining to snatch a share of the spoils.

“I believe in the way the game developed; I believe it could have been more,” asserted Asbaghi. “Of course, if we look at the game in the first five minutes, I think Fulham were creating some chances and it was maybe the game in the first five minutes that everyone would expect. 

“But after those five minutes, I think we came back into the game and were controlling them in our defence in a fantastic way – pressing them high, making them really struggle and making them complain, almost, and starting to create our own chances. 

“Then we took the lead, came in at half-time, came out and, of course, you accept that we try to keep up the aggression in the second half. We will get a little bit tired playing against a team like this when they go forward, but to be honest, I think we were controlling – even if we were pushed back more – we were showing excellent defence.

“They had a lot of the ball, but we were allowing them to play exactly where we wanted them, and they were not creating any chances to try and equalise.

“That’s why I get frustrated that, in the end, they do. And it’s not so much because we don’t defend well; it’s a situation with a second ball – a 50-50 that we’re not determined enough to kick the ball.

“That frustrates me a little bit because I really felt that we could win this game.”

The Reds’ next assignment is another home fixture – a third in the space of a week – against Bristol City on Tuesday evening as we look to make it five unbeaten at Oakwell.

Three points would be just the tonic against a Robins side who have struggled for form on the road, although they picked up an impressive victory at Blackburn Rovers this weekend.

“It’s another game at home,” continued our Head Coach. “We’ve shown against the best teams at home that we can do well. What we need to do against Bristol City is to reload our minds and understand that what we did was a really good performance in terms of hard job. 

“We cannot go on and think we can do 99% of that job and still do a good performance because it’s not going to be like that. Bristol City have some excellent quality in their squad – excellent individual quality – and can score a lot of goals. 

“If we cannot have the same attitude as we had against Fulham, we are not going to win that game. It’s really important that we rest, reload mentally and understand that we have to put up the same amount of work on Tuesday as well.”

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

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