Analysis of Barnsley's 2-0 home loss to Hull City on Saturday.
CONWAY LEAVES EARLY, WITH QUICK APPOINTMENT ESSENTIAL
After the dust had settled following Hull’s second goal, and it was very obvious that the Reds were going to suffer a deeply disappointing defeat, a glance to the right of the press box confirmed Paul Conway had left early.
The American co-owner had clearly seen enough to know that the ongoing head coach search had to be accelerated and that caretaker Joe Laumann, popular though he is, had followed up an encouraging win over Derby with a disastrous display and result in another ‘six-pointer’.
Any hopes that the caretaker could make it six points from six and ease the rush for a new appointment were extinguished by this dire Reds effort.
They are hoping to have someone in place by the end of this week, to work with the players for the second half of the international break. That coach has plenty to do based on Saturday’s evidence.
Conway wasn’t the only one to make an early exit, as the second goal sent many of the Reds faithful streaming out of the exits and it is difficult to blame them after a dreadful performance.
EFL’S LOWEST SCORERS NET 1ST AWAY GOALS SINCE OPENING DAY
Hull were below Barnsley in the table, had lost five in a row, were the lowest scorers in the EFL – with one goal in their last six games – and had not scored away in seven since the opening day with one point in that time.
Across their last two seasons at Championship level, they had won three of 36 games, losing 27.
Barnsley, unusually, had more experience at Championship level than their opponents while the Tigers are probably one of the few teams with a lower wage bill.
But City had only lost 1-0 to top four sides Coventry and West Brom, showing togetherness and character - which were sadly lacking for their hosts.
The Tigers deserved their win and could have had at least four goals, as ex-Red Grant McCann eased the pressure on him with a first victory as manager over his old club in five attempts.
SHAMBOLIC PERFORMANCE FROM BARNSLEY
Barnsley were awful in the first half - lacking intensity, struggling to keep hold of the ball, allowing Hull to attack regularly, find it hard to pass forward.
All of the energy and organisation that earned the win against Derby four days earlier was gone.
It was as though they felt they had turned the season around with that one win and could simply turn up and roll over the off-form newly promoted side.
They were slightly better going forward after the break but became extremely open at the back, especially on the left wing where Keane Lewis Potter went clean through several times.
Overall, it was a simply unacceptable and shambolic display - probably the worst of a very bad season so far.
It left them second bottom and four points off safety.
Jasper Moon could have prevented both goals if he had been more decisive, while substitute Callum Styles made a big mistake for the second - rushing out to the ball and leaving his man totally unmarked.
COLE SUBSTITUTION BAFFLING
Devante Cole was Barnsley's best player by far in the first half as, although he missed a fine chance at 0-0 and must be more clinical, he won headers and ran at defenders.
He may have only completed six passes and made 15 touches everything good the Reds did seemed to come through him.
It was very surprising that he was taken off at half-time for Victor Adeboyejo, with Laumann saying ‘a couple of things were lacking.’
It was a baffling decision and, although Adeboyejo worked hard, he was nowhere near as dangerous as Cole.
Laumann dropped Callum Styles, Mads Andersen and Victor Adeboyejo to the bench after all three played key roles in Wednesday's victory over Derby.
Styles and Andersen had only just returned to injury so were not risked at the end of a busy week.
Not being in the physio’s room, we have to trust his judgement but certainly Andersen would have added more solidity to Barnsley’s defence, although substitute Styles made a big mistake for the second goal.
BRITTAIN MISS SECONDS BEFORE 2-0 GOAL CRUCIAL
The season was basically summed up in the 75th minute when Callum Brittain could have levelled but, picked out by a fine Aaron Leya Iseka run and cross, fired left-footed straight at the goalkeeper from ten yards then was out of position as Hull made it 2-0 seconds later.
Brittain was excellent four days earlier against Derby but, overall, he has had a poor season and seems to be lacking confidence - desperately in need of a first Reds goal.
Goals regularly come down his side as, with the team in general less cohesive than last season, he is leaving huge gaps when he bursts forwards and often is yards behind trying to stop counter attacks.
Jordan Williams started on the left and again impressed, so perhaps he could have moved over to his natural right when Styles came on, with Brittain having a break.
Brittain - who produced several moments of superb skill to beat men in his half - will have a breather now due to the international break and a suspension for a fifth booking which means he will miss the trip to Fulham on November 20.
Williams deserves a start at right wing-back in that game.