Barnsley assistant coach Martin Paterson praised the players for ‘finding a way to win’ and called the 2-1 home victory over Fleetwood Town a ‘fantastic result.’
After James Norwood’s opener was cancelled out by a penalty from Admiral Muskwe who had been clipped by Mads Andersen, Robbie Cundy headed in the late winner. The result kept the Reds fourth in League One with six wins out of seven.
Head coach Michael Duff had been sent off just before the winner, for his reaction to Norwood being denied a penalty.
Assistant coach Martin Paterson said: “It was fantastic at the end to find a way to win. That’s the main message from us as a football club and Michael especially.
“In the first half we had two or three opportunities to put the game to bed and the message is to be a little bit more ruthless and punish teams. But we can’t take away from what a fantastic result that is.
“They are a difficult team to play against, a good well-coached team. Over the Christmas period, in League One, which is a tough league, you have to find ways to win at that top end of the table.
“We all want to see beautiful football but sometimes a centre half popping up with a set piece goal is what you need to get the job done. The fitness and energy was very pleasing.”
Paterson was delighted with the response to missed chances at 0-0 then the equaliser as well as the touchline antics.
“It’s fruits of the labour in terms of how hard we worked in pre-season. Michael puts them in uncomfortable positions in training so when we have have adversity and setbacks and we need to step up and fight they have the coping mechanisms. Young Fabio (Jalo) came on and did some fantastic defensive work and game management.”
He added: “Regardless of the manager stood on the side or not, the players know what they need to do in a Michael Duff team and a Barnsley team.”
Paterson refused to discuss the refereeing decisions. But Andersen said of the penalty: “He’s hanging his leg so it’s tough for me to get round him. I am trying not to touch him but he left his leg there. Unfortunately the ref didn’t see that. I saw the video and I know it’s not a penalty. The decision is the decision. I am happy we won.
“A last-minute goal is always good. When you feel like the decisions are against us it feels even better.”
Barnsley had been hoping to score more set piece goals. Paterson said: “You’re always looking to improve. When you have the size and delivery we have, we are certainly aware that we can make better use of those attacking threats. We worked on it yesterday and all through the week.”
Paterson praised the supporters, saying: “Oakwell was bouncing. The atmosphere is normally good but tonight it was excellent in the way the fans got behind the players.”