Adam Murray was proud of the way his side came back from 2-0 down to earn a draw with Bristol City on Friday after admitting ‘the mood swung’ in Oakwell.
Goals from Aapo Halme and Cauley Woodrow, in the 94th minute, salvaged a point and moved the Reds up a place from bottom of the league. Caretaker Murray said: “I have a lot of pride in terms of our fight and desire. I have mixed emotions because I am frustrated with the goals we conceded. In the first half, you saw a group of young players that were a little bit low of confidence and lacked belief. We had a chat at half-time and came out with a bit of fire.
“At times they showed they are starting to become men. When we go 2-0 down you think it’s 'Goodnight Vienna' but they stepped up and went again. Within the rules of the game, you need a bit of nastiness and survival instinct to fight and scratch. One thing no one will ever be able to question about this group of people is their fight and desire and their hunger to succeed.”
Barnsley’s fans became angry at 2-0, chanting the name of previous head coach Daniel Stendel as well as ‘sack the board’. Murray said: “It was a rollercoaster of emotions. The mood swung in the ground then I think, with the energy the lads were showing and the endeavour, it swung again. It’s frustrating at the moment because we are having opportunities but we need the rub of the green and we are laughing on the bench sometimes because things aren’t just bouncing but, down the other end, its one per cent goals we are conceding.
“When a club is in a position like we are, there will be lots of frustration and anger for different reasons. The only thing we can do is focus on what we need to do. You have seen in the last few games that the players and staff and fans are all fighting as much as possible. You saw what it meant to everybody at the end and, for three or four minutes, it felt like a win because of the nature of the goal. I had a lump in my throat when I saw the support at the end and I know that support will stand us in good stead.”
Substitute Luke Thomas said: “We have a lot of belief in each other. There aren’t many teams who are bottom of the table and 2-0 down with 20 minutes to go against a very good team, who can come back like we did. In the end we fully deserved at least a draw.
“The goals we conceded were massively frustrating. We have been working on defensive stuff like free-kicks and corners but, if someone switches off for a second, we will get punished in the Championship.”
Woodrow got the 94th-minute leveller to move on to six for the season. Murray said: “That’s what he does. He’s a goal-scorer. He’s clinical in everything he does. I need get him out of the habit of shooting from 50 yards. I thought it was one of his quieter games but you keep him on because you know he can pop up and score.”
The visitors’ first goal came from a free-kick when Bambo Diaby was judged to have fouled ex-Red Marley Watkins. Murray said: “It’s tricky. In this day and age you can’t pass wind without it being a yellow card. I wouldn’t say it was a foul when I was playing but, in this day and age, you can’t do anything.
“We could have defended it much better. We have spent an awful lot of time on our defending from set pieces in the last three and half weeks. It gets boring for footballers to do things like that but, at the level we are at, you can’t afford not to give 100 per cent focus.”
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Murray has mixed emotions after night of 'mood swings' at Oakwell
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