Poya Asbaghi says the 1-1 draw with Stoke City ‘feels like a loss’ after the visitors netted in the 94th minute but insists it is up to Barnsley to make sure the point is meaningful at the end of the season.
Domingos Quina’s superb goal gave the hosts a 70th-minute lead but they conceded deep in injury-time. They remain second-bottom but have cut the gap to safety to five points.
Asbaghi told the Chronicle: “It feels like a loss. It is tough at this moment. Right now I am not happy with a point and I am really disappointed. But I know when I wake up tomorrow I will feel more that we didn’t lose, we got a point. It’s our job to make sure that that point means something. Maybe it will, it depends what we do in the other games. Maybe we will look back after the last game and say ‘hey, that point against Stoke was not so bad after all.’”
He added: “I can understand the frustration and disappointment in the locker room but we don’t have too much time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have the toughest game we could have on Saturday against Fulham so tomorrow we have to mobilise for that game.”
On the game in general, Asbaghi said: “The first half was not the half we wanted. Stoke were more direct than we expected, they pushed us down and had a lot of set pieces. We needed to be more aggressive and, in the second half, we were. There weren’t many chances but we were more aggressive and we scored a really good goal. We could have made it 2-0 but we conceded.”
Asbaghi was disappointed with the goal, which saw Claudio Gomes miss a chance to clear then Devante Cole lose a tackle.
He said: “We had ten and a half players behind the ball and they still scored. We need to do that better and we have only ourselves to blame.”
Asked whether he was disappointed with Cole and why he brought on him after 89 minutes, Asbaghi told the Chronicle: “I don’t want to point out individuals. That is something we will do behind closed doors. Stoke have the highest line in the Championship and they are 1-0 down so the line will be even higher. Cole is one of our fastest players.”
Asked if Barnsley defended too deep late on, Asbaghi told the Chronicle: “Afterwards of course you will feel like that. But we have had the lead in games before and sat back to protect it in a good way, today we didn’t do it and when you reflect you feel you should have been higher. We sat back in the last ten or 15 minutes which is normal for a team that is leading. We wanted to be low and defend well. We did it well overall but it has to be better for the goal.”
Barnsley had penalty appeals turned down for alleged fouls on Remy Vita early in the second half and Quina just after he scored. Asbaghi said: “I have not seen them again and I was stood pretty far away. It looks suspicious but I am not the one to decide. We have not been so fortunate during my time getting these 50/50 decisions. We work hard to turn them in our favour.”
Asbaghi was delighted with Quina’s performance, saying: “In the second half, it is pretty close and it’s not a surprise that a good individual performance will open the game. Dom overall played well and has played well since he came. He scored a wonderful goal and could have had a penalty so he can be happy.”
Defender Mads Andersen added: “It is very hard to take. It obviously feels like a loss but we got a point and had some good moments so we will take that into Saturday.
“I don’t remember the goal exactly but we have to clear the ball better. We need to cut that out.
“We feel flat. People are very disappointed which they should be, but tomorrow we will pick ourselves up.”