TOBY Sibbick was delighted to net his first Barnsley goal at Cardiff City on Saturday and hopes to emulate fellow centre-back Michal Helik in being a regular scorer this season.
The 21-year-old fired in an equaliser in the 1-1 draw in Wales, which was Barnsley’s first goal in front of their fans since Cauley Woodrow netted in a win at Hull City in February last year.
It was also his first in the EFL, having last struck against West Ham for Wimbledon in an FA Cup shock three seasons ago.
Sibbick told the Chronicle: “It’s a good milestone. I should add that to my game.
“I want to get on the scoreboard more like Micha did last season.
“I can focus on that.”
Sibbick said last season that his father had vowed not to shave until his son scored goal.
But he said after the Cardiff game: “I don’t think he could keep it up anymore so he shaved it off. I think he might have been planning to do it again this season but obviously I’ve scored now.”
Helik’s six goals last season were mainly close-range finishes following set-pieces but Sibbick’s strike saw him bring down a crossfield pass from Josh Benson and race into the penalty area before finding the bottom left corner.
Sibbick said: “In training the gaffer said he didn’t want me bombing on in this game but I just saw the space Callum Brittain left me, and I made that run.”
Head coach Markus Schopp added: “I ask everybody who is on the pitch to be dangerous when he can. Most of the time defenders get dangerous with set pieces, but Toby attacked the space.
“I don’t care who scores, but I am really happy for him. I don’t ask anybody in my team not to score. If there is space, anybody can join the attack.”
Sibbick added: “It’s incredible for me. For the style the gaffer wants to play, it’s about being patient, sucking your opponents in and finding the killer pass. Josh managed to find me.
“I took a few touches and let it go.
“It took a few bobbles but they all count. It was great to score in front of the away end, and all my family were there as well. It was a nice feeling.”
Barnsley passed the ball out from defence, having been far more direct under Valerien Ismael last season.
Sibbick said: “We’ve been working on it all pre-season. The gaffer wants us to be brave but not stupid. If we made silly mistakes in silly areas against Cardiff they would punish us. We knew when to play and when not to. It was a good balance. We would probably have taken a point before the game but we were disappointed not to take all three based on our performance and our chances.
“It wasn’t quite our day in front of goal but it’s a good start and we can build on it. “The Barnsley fans were loud all game. They kept supporting us even when we went 1-0 down.
“They must have enjoyed watching us play after a long wait.
“They could see the style we played and they can be excited for this season.”