Neill Collins praised his Barnsley team for their win over Manchester City under 21s which secured a place in the EFL Trophy knock-outs and gave an update on Kacper Lopata’s shoulder injury.
After Conor McCarthy and Jon Russell headed in corners in the first half, then City pulled one back, substitute Emmaisa Nzondo netted on his professional debut.
Collins told the Chronicle: “It was excellent. All in all, it was a really good night. The senior players were very good, so were the young players and it was a good team performance. I don’t think there was a poor performance.”
Collins was impressed with Nzondo as well as the other first team debutants Jonathan Bland and Mylan Benjamin.
“I have watched Emmaisa for the under 18s and 21s. You just feel he has a goal in him. It was a great moment.
“All the players who made their debut are there on merit. It gave us a chance to see them in a different environment. I am looking forward to seeing them play against Bradford in the next (trophy) game because it will be a different test for them. Man City under 21s are more similar opponents to what they are used to.”
Nzondo added: "I just closed my eyes and hope for the best. I thought it was going over. When it went in, it was pure relief."
Barnsley are top of Group F with six points ahead of their final group game at Bradford on November 14. They have qualified for the knock-out stages with a game to spare.
“It’s important to get to the next round. We want more games. We want to see not just the young players play but I want to make sure we keep everyone in our first team group ready and available.”
Kacper Lopata was at the game with his arm in a sling after suffering a shoulder injury at Northampton on Saturday.
“We’re still waiting for complete confirmation but it looks like a shoulder dislocation or break
“It’s looking like Kacper will be out for the short-term at least and we will see how long it is. He’s a been fantastic, a great signing, and someone with huge potential. It is a blow but an opportunity for someone. The centre-backs tonight Conor, Jack (Shepherd) and Mael (de Givegney), and I should probably include Nathan James as well, are all fighting to try and replace Kacper in the team. It’s a good decision to me to have to make.”
Shepherd was taken off at half-time for James after being booked. Collins said: “He had a yellow card and I can’t risk losing any centre-backs at this stage.”