Neill Collins was frustrated Barnsley did not get a penalty in their 1-0 loss to Blackpool but admits the Reds could have played better.

The hosts conceded a penalty midway through the first half and did not have a shot on target.

Collins told the Chronicle: “I don’t think an awful lot went particularly wrong. We gave away a poor penalty which was a mistake and I think it was Blackpool’s first attack.

“We had started well but, as we have done at home, we made life hard for ourselves. We spent the rest of the game trying to create opportunities. We created a few and I would have liked to have created more.

“No shots on target is poor. But John McAtee had a great opportunity, we got in great crossing opportunities and put it out the other side. We all think Blackpool will be one of the challengers (for promotion) but they gave us a lot of respect which is something we might have to get used to. Hopefully we can come up with more answers in the future.”

Striker Sam Cosgrove added: “We need to be winning those games at home.

“I don’t think we did too much wrong so I don’t want to be too harsh. But when the big boys come to Oakwell, we’ve got to get at least a point. It’s a very disappointing day but we have to get our minds focused for Tuesday (at Cambridge).

“It was a big learning curve. They did a job on us and it was smash and grab. They got the goal early and we couldn’t break them down.”

Barnsley felt they should have had a penalty for a handball by Olly Casey midway through the second half.

Collins said: “People told me when I came not to expect too much from the referees and I thought it was typical fans.

“But I am quickly realising that one penalty last season wasn’t an anomaly. We have had multiple opportunities to get a penalty this season, today it was a blatant handball and we didn’t get it.

“We need to be better but, now and again, you need something to fall for you.”

Cosgrove added: “It’s hard to know the rules these days. It’s chopping and changing each season. If the ball bounces up and hits the boy’s arm you would like to think it should be a penalty.

“But we had more than enough threat to at least get an equaliser."

Does Collins think the Reds were too ponderous on the ball?

“We can definitely play forward quicker at times, no question. But you have to recognise Blackpool gave us a lot of possession and sat behind the ball. It’s important not to concede first against a team like that. We need to learn when to be patient and when to get the ball up the other end quicker. But we haven’t experienced a team like that this season and we have to learn quickly.”

It was a fourth defeat in five home league games and another loss to a side expected to compete for promotion this season.

Collins said: “We need to win games at home, it’s going to be important, and against top six teams. But we were lot better than we have been against teams like that. It’s definitely something we need to improve.

“It’s our points that will get us where we want to be be, it doesn’t matter who we beat. But we will have to win a lot of games to get where we want to be. That game could have been very different. We can’t be too downbeat about losing 1-0 to a penalty.”

Adam Phillips missed the game through illness and could return at his former club Cambridge on Tuesday.

Josh Benson was left out of the squad with teenager Theo Chapman starting but taken off at half-time.

“The game we expected would have been perfect for Theo with spaces to run into against an aggressive team. But the game we got was very different. It was a tactical change at half-time.

“He didn’t get to show how good he can be but he deserved the opportunity. We needed something slightly different to Theo.”

On Benson, Collins said: “When we don’t have players, people want us to sign them then when we do people expect them all to play. I can’t pick everyone in the starting 11 or on the bench. That means good players miss out and today Josh did. Josh did well on Tuesday and I am sure there will be an opportunity around the corner for him.”

Barnsley have collected 16 points from their opening ten games.

“The points is fine. We’re in touching distance of where we want to be. There is lots to improve but the players have done really well considering a lot of the challenges and changes we’ve had.

“Ten games is a marker for most teams but, for us, when I look back at the window, (Liam) Kitching leaving, players coming in slightly later, it’s still far too early to assess. We just have to keep improving.”