Barnsley boss reveals biggest concern after ‘stupid’ moment in Swansea City defeat
Barnsley head coach Valerien Ismael has said that his side must be better at avoiding mistakes after one “stupid” moment helped Swansea City to victory at Oakwell.
The promotion-chasing Swans were 2-0 victors in the Championship’s late-night game on Saturday, but there was less between the teams than the scoreline suggested.
The Reds were the dominant force in the first half but went into the break behind when a Connor Roberts throw was glanced in by Ben Cabango in stoppage time.
And they left themselves with a mountain to climb 10 minutes after the restart, when defenders Mads Andersen and Michal Helik clashed into each other as they attempted to claim the ball, leaving Jamal Lowe with a free route to goal.
Though the opener came at a painful time, it was the second goal that gave Ismael most reason for concern.
Particularly, the French boss recognised that this was not a one-off, with avoidable mistakes going a fair way to explaining a run of a dozen league matches without a clean sheet.
In his post-match press conference, Ismael told The72: “It was a very strong first half, I think that it was exactly the game plan. We were in the game, we fight very well, we create a lot of situations, we control the game.
“Just before half-time we concede this goal. But at half-time we told the guys we have to change our way. After half-time the stupid goal killed us.
“It’s the same story, we were in the game and made decisions in the game which are easy to avoid. Just communicate, clear the ball and stay in the game.
“Towards the end we had chances to score and could come back, because we know we have mentality to come back, but such a mistake kills our performance, kills the game, and we don’t have the points.
“We made the mistakes, and this is more for me the bad thing tonight. We have to clear the ball and it’s not about (whether it was) offside. The failure is on our side and we have to deal with it and make it better.”
Barnsley have faced the top two in their previous two Championship fixtures, after losing 1-0 to an Emi Buendia goal away at leaders Norwich City a fortnight ago.
At both Carrow Road then and Oakwell on Saturday night, they were very much in the contest and could have taken a lot more points than their final haul of zero.
Ismael can take huge confidence from the fact that his side, who won 10 of their 15 matches under him in 2020 but are yet to get off the mark in the Championship since the new year, can compete against the very best that the division has to offer.
But again, there was frustration that it has been their own mistakes that have played a large part in determining the outcome.
“The two games, it was not so clear as on the table,” Ismael said of those two league defeats.
“I can lose, no problem, but the team has to be better than us. Tonight that’s not the feeling. We make some gifts to the opponent to win the game.
“It’s good we can compete at this level and can stay 90 minutes against such an opponent at a high level, and we have to avoid such mistakes.”