Michael Duff said his Barnsley side were ‘excellent from minute one’ in a 2-1 victory at Peterborough United.

Luca Connell, with his first goal for the club, and in-form Adam Phillips netted to put the Reds up to fourth with a fourth straight win. The hosts levelled but did not create any chances after the break.

Duff said: “We did all facets of the game well. We passed the ball well, particularly in the first half an hour, we showed resilience at the end when they had five on our back line, and we showed some quality with two good finishes.

“We had some really good openings in the first half an hour then they scored with their first shot on target and you’re thinking ‘here we go’. But we bounced back and didn’t let it affect us too much.

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“It was a very very good away performance.

“Peterborough are a good team. So to come here and deliver that performance is credit to the players.”

Duff was delighted with the character his side showed. He said: “Something that was really key right at the end, Robbie (Cundy) has headed three balls out of the box then Luca Connell won a header and was kicked in the head. After all of them the bench are jumping up like they are celebrating a goal. That’s togetherness. We’ve been seeing it grow. Results help but spirit gets you a long way.”

Duff also praised the travelling fans, saying: “They travel in great numbers. It’s nice for the players to celebrate in front of them. I go and appreciate them but I try to get off the pitch as quickly as I can because the players deserve all the credit. Hopefully the fans have enjoyed it and will enjoy looking at the league table.”

Connell netted his first Barnsley goal with a superb strike from outside the box in the tenth minute.

Duff said: “We had Luca in in the week. We don’t just see him as sitter. He can play and pass it. He scores a lot of goals in training. He can jump out of the sitting position, it sat up perfect for him and it’s good technique.”

Connell added: “It’s always good to get your first goal, I have been waiting a while for it. Finally it came. I know it’s a cliche but it’s more important we got the three points.

“The goal was a bit of a blur, I went mad. They don’t come round often so I made the most of it.”

Phillips’ goal saw Herbie Kane play a free-kick square to him before the long-range shot was spilled in by the goalkeeper.

Duff said: “I can’t take credit for that. Pato (assistant coach Martin Paterson) and the analysts look at that. I was shouting at Adam to get in the box but someone’s told me ‘they are setting it up.’ I don’t get involved in everything, I can’t be everywhere.

“It was good technique through a lot of bodies. I know the ‘keeper should have done better.”

Tom Edwards came off injured after an hour then his replacement Josh Benson also hobbled off 15 minutes later.

Duff said: “I don’t know about Tom. It looked like a clash of knees but it might be a twist, hopefully not.

“Benno was a hamstring. We got him off straight away.

“We are light on numbers so it will be a challenge to get through the next month because you look at the amount of players we’re using and there are not many.”