Barnsley won every duel across the pitch against Middlesbrough, says delighted head coach Gerhard Struber

DELIGHTED Barnsley head coach Gerhard Struber says that his side's strong team performance in their 1-0 victory over relegation rivals Middlesbrough represents the template for survival for the Reds.

Gerhard Struber. PICTURE: TONY JOHNSON.
Gerhard Struber. PICTURE: TONY JOHNSON.

The hosts recorded their first clean sheet on home soil at league level since the opening day of the season and also secured back-to-back Championship victories for just the second occasion this term, thanks to Conor Chaplin's strike 17 minutes from time.

The win moved Barnsley - now second from bottom - to within five points of fourth-from-bottom Huddersfield Town and they now trail Boro and Stoke by six points.

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It was the perfect fillip for the Reds ahead of further games with fellow strugglers Hull City and Reading.

Struber said: "I am very happy. On the one side, we had the next clean sheet and the next victory (after Fulham) was very, very important in our situation.

"We created a very good performance together. In every action and single duel, I think we were the winners today. The attitude and energy was amazing and I am very proud of my team and I hope we can bring this energy in the next few weeks.

"Then, I think it is very difficult for all the other opponents against us. We were very clear with our plan on the ball.

"My three centre backs created a special performance and our defensive system was the key in the end that we won and we can celebrate a big win against a very good team.

"Our centre-backs gave their strikers no chances.

"The two clean sheets give the defence a very good feeling. Two clean sheets in a row and two victories and I hope we can bring this performance and energy into our next game against Hull."

On the all-important strike from Chaplin, who netted his 12th goal of the season in all competitions, the Austrian added: "Conor is a top player for us and I think he worked so hard off the ball. We brought the mentality down from our opponent with our work together.

"Conor and Browny (Jacob Brown) made a very good performance off the ball. The whole team worked very strongly together."