Poya Asbaghi refused to blame the officials for Barnsley's 1-0 loss to Cardiff City, despite a controversial disallowed goal, but said the result was a 'big blow' and that Barnsley felt 'empty' after a fifth straight league defeat which kept them bottom.
The Reds, who had the better chances but conceded Cardiff's only shot, were denied a 95th minute equaliser when Aaron Leya Iseka's goal was ruled out for offside, with replays appearing to show he was level with a defender.
Asbaghi, whose side are winless 12 and eight points from safety, told the Chronicle: "I haven't seen the situation again but, at the moment, the small margins are not going in our favour. But I won't say we lost the game because of the referees.
"It was an even game and we thought we were controlling things then we conceded a goal we should not have conceded.
"We have had too many games when we feel we are just as good as our opponents or a little bit better but we lost.
"We came in at half-time with a good feeling that this game was for us. In the second half, they prevented us from creating chances. For me, we were the only team that was trying to push the other team down. It's a really tough loss in that sense.
"It's a big blow. It's not the first time we feel empty after a game."
Asbaghi was disappointed with the goal which saw substitute Uche Ikpeazu outmuscle both Michal Helik and Mads Andersen.
"We know that he is a big strong player but we could not have put up more suitable players to handle him than Mads and Michal who are our strongest players. They defended really well the rest of the game but that situation was unfortunate. It was a two on one and we should have done better."
There were ugly scenes after the game when a disagreement between Cardiff manager Steve Morison and Barnsley coach Jo Laumann led to a fracas near the dugouts which continued down the tunnel.
Morison said: "They didn't like the fact we beat them. I don't think they covered themselves in glory. They hid the towels on the edge of the pitch, the ballboys hid them up their tops. Then karma comes back to bite you on the arse.
"One person followed me up the tunnel. He wanted to have a pop at me but he picked the wrong person. Then the security got involved."
Asbaghi said: "I knew when I came to England that you have to be ready for the verbal communication from opponents which is different to what I am used to. They argue and complain and scream. I like that, I find it charming and fun. It puts intensity into the game. But it has to stop after the final whistle. If you are the coach of Cardiff and you just won a game like that, you should come and say thank you. We went to him to say congratulations and he said really bad things. Then my assistant coach reacts to what he said which is wrong.
"Congratulations to Cardiff but they didn't win with style today. Please show a bit of sportsmanship, the way they behaved was ridiculous."
On the disallowed goal, midfielder Josh Benson said: "We're devastated but it is what it is. Things like that happen, our luck isn't with us but we need to keep fighting. The boys are gutted. But we can't rely on luck and we need to start taking our chances.
"The first half performance was good, I had a chance I could have buried. The second half changed a bit but I still felt we controlled the game, they didn't create anything and scored a goal out of nothing."
Domingos Quina made his debut from the start while fellow deadline day signing Amine Bassi came off the bench.
Asbaghi said: "Quina did a really good start. He was contributing with the things I was hoping he would, he protected the ball in a good way, pushed the opponents down and our team up. Amine had a shorter time but showed his technical abilities and the right foot he has. The loss was bad but the performance of the debutants was good."
Matty Wolfe dropped out of the squad due to injury after his full debut on Saturday.
Asbaghi said: "He had reaction after the game, it was his first in a long time. Hopefully it's nothing that keeps him away for too long."