Valerien Ismael was 'very delighted' with Barnsley's performance in a 1-0 home loss to Brentford on Tuesday.
The Reds conceded midway through the second half, having won four of their five previous matches under the new head coach.
Ismael told the Chronicle: "I am very delighted with the performance. It was like we expected against the best opponent we have played in possession since I have been here.
"You can't press high against them because they are very calm at the back. It was like a chess game and both teams tried to enforce their philosophy. We did it well but, in such a 50/50 game, the set pieces are the most important thing."
He added: "It is a good process from my staff and my team. Brentford are a high level opponent and we saw what we need to beat this opponent. I think Brentford, at the end of the season, will be in the top six and maybe at the top because they have really high quality in every position and a lot of experience.
"We don't have the same possibilities but we work with our players and find possibilities. This is the Championship and you have to adapt. We lost the game but now we rest and think about the next game on Saturday."
Barnsley were denied a penalty late on when Vitaly Janelt appeared to handle in his box. Ismael said: "We had to get a penalty and that is the most frustrating point from this game. Sometimes you have to deal with this in football, we hope next time we get this decision. We have to accept this decision."
The goal came from a corner which was headed home by former Barnsley striker Ivan Toney. Ismael said: "You have to be focused in every situation, if it is a duel, a mistake, a square ball or set pieces. It is a learning process and we have to keep our heads up. I saw a strong Barnsley today against a strong Brentford."
Barnsley had one shot on target while, in the second half, they did not create any chances. Ismael said: "Our transition game was not good enough to hurt Brentford and we have to work on it. We did not have many chances but against such an opponent you don't get 20 chances, you get maybe two three or four. You have to take them and it is another game if we score the first goal."
Goalkeeper Jack Walton said: "No one wants to lose a game of football. It was a game of very fine margins and we were on the wrong end of it. We have another game very soon so we have to dust ourselves down and move on.
"I thought we were disciplined for 99 per cent of the time but it was the one per cent where they scored. But that's football and, at this level, those fine margins matter. There will be plenty of games like that this season that we will win 1-0."
Jordan Williams was left out of the match day squad. Ismael said: "He has a muscle problem yesterday. We have to see what is happening. We hope he can be with us on Saturday or maybe next week."