Valerien Ismael was pleasantly surprised by the energy his Barnsley side showed to come from behind and beat Preston North End on Tuesday evening.

The Reds fell behind early but recovered to secure a third successive victory and an eighth in 12 games under Ismael, lifting them to ninth in the Championship.

Ismael told the Chronicle: "I am very surprised by all the energy we see in this team and I give my guys my big respect to win such game.

"It is a good feeling to win three in a row but now we want to get the next one and stay in this good way. I am very proud of the players for keeping going.

"We had two game-changers. Just before half-time Jack Walton made a big save to keep us in the game, because if you go in at half-time 2-0 down it is very difficult. The second was the substitution of Victor (Adeboyejo) and Luke (Thomas) who made a very big impact.

"The second half was a big performance with very good mentality. We were more in the game, we won more second balls and the transition was more effective and the finishing was clinical this time. If you see the second half, we deserved to win. We had a bit of luck but we need this sometimes."

The visitors scored in the second minute, when Sean Maguire's header was judged to have crossed the line. Ismael said: "It was a really poor start. I am not sure if the ball was over the line. It was really bad.

"The players were angry but our response was good, to stay focused on the game. We had enough time to come back in the game and we have the mentality to do it against a very strong opponent."

Captain Alex Mowatt levelled, firing in from outside the box for the third time this season. Ismael said: "This is his quality, we use his quality. We try to put him in such a situation either to prepare the counter-press or score a goal. He did it very well."

The winner came from substitute Adeboyejo who barely featured before Ismael was appointed but has scored twice under the new head coach.

"I am delighted for him. He works hard, stays focused and he has a very great mentality. It is a pleasure to work with him. We know we have a weapon on the bench and, if you need a game-changer, you can count on Victor. He has the confidence now that he can contribute and help the team win."

Adeboyejo added: "It is nice to come on and score the winner but the energy the boys put in from the first minute to the last was commendable and my goal was a reward for the whole team.

"The manager just told me to inject a bit of pace, be free and confident and go for it. I was happy to be in the right place at the right time.

"I would love a tap in here and there but I will take the good finishes. I work on it in training and then it was muscle memory after Cauley passed me the ball.

"We don't want to make a habit of going behind but it shows the resilience we have in the squad that we can go behind and still win. Long may it continue."

Ismael was also pleased with centre-back Michal Helik who replaced the injured Aapo Halme after being dropped the last two games.

"He was very good. It was a good thing that he had a break of two games. In training this week I saw his energy and body tension was there. I am very very happy for him."