Barnsley FC: Captain Mads Andersen on why game management will be crucial to Reds’ survival chances

AS any good captain should, Mads Andersen faced the music after Barnsley’s bitterly-frustrating late draw with Stoke.

The Reds were well placed to take the latest step in their ‘Great Escape’ mission by virtue of a precious win following Domingos Quina’s superb curler, only for two lapses in decision-making from Claudio Gomes and Devante Cole to enable Lewis Baker to score a sickening leveller in the fifth minute of stoppage-time.

The upshot is that instead of Barnsley being three points away from fifth-from-bottom Reading – with a home game against the Royals next month – the gap is five, with Baker’s goal likely to have been greeted with cheers in Berkshire and Derbyshire as well as Staffordshire.

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On the critical importance of seeing games out at this time of the season, Andersen, a young captain of a side not blessed with seniority at second-tier level, said: “Exactly. They took a chance by throwing everybody forward and we went a bit deeper and five at the back to protect it.

Barnsley captain Mads Andersen shows his dismay after conceding a late equaliser against Stoke City at Oakwell on Tuesday night. Picture: George Wood/Getty Images

“When we do that in situations, we have to clear the ball and be a bit better at not just clearing the ball, but getting a foul or something. Or by putting a ball out for a throw-in and pushing the team up.

“We have talked about it (game management). Even if we are up near the corner flag and leading, get a corner and or keep the ball in the corner. Try to get the ball up in their corner and stay there.”

On the painful late moment, head coach Poya Asbaghi rued: “I believe we had ten players before the ball and they were still allowed to score. We need to do that better and only have ourselves to blame.

“I don’t want to point out individuals and that’s something we will do behind closed doors.

KILLER BLOW: Stoke City's Lewis Baker celebrates his equaliser against Barnsley at Oakwell on Tuesday night Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“But of course, I am disappointed with the way we conceded the goal.”