Barnsley caretaker boss Paul Harsley thanked his players for their reaction to Paul Heckingbottom’s departure after the Championship strugglers earned a 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday.
In the club’s first outing since Heckingbottom was appointed Leeds manager, Barnsley ended a three-match losing run with a battling point against the Owls.
Atdhe Nuhiu’s 18th-minute penalty gave Wednesday the lead but loanee Oliver McBurnie - on his first start for the Reds - equalised three minutes later after dancing through the visiting defence.
Harsley was full of praise for his players’ response to this week’s upheaval.
He said: “You never know what’s going to happen but the second I walked into the changing room on Tuesday morning I knew everyone was on side. We knew clearly what we wanted.
“After the game I told the lads I couldn’t thank them enough. They could have had their heads turned.
“The lads responded brilliant. We all came together.
“I was asked to do this game and I’ve done it to the best I could in the short space of time.
“I’m just gutted we didn’t get the three points.
I was asked to do this game and I’ve done it to the best I could in the short space of time. I’m just gutted we didn’t get the three points.Paul Harsley
“In the first half I thought we were the more dominant team. The last 30 minutes fizzled out a bit - both teams were maybe worried about conceding.”
Barnsley could have had more to show for their performance, but they were denied a second-half penalty when Adam Hammill went down under Frederico Venancio’s challenge but referee Lee Probert was unmoved.
Harsley added: “If he’s giving their penalty - he’s definitely got to give Adam Hammill’s. For me it was a stonewall penalty.”
Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay has yet to see his side win a league game since taking charge in early January.
Luhukay said: “I think after 90 minutes we must live with this draw. Both teams had chances. We scored the first goal but we couldn’t stay in front.
“Barnsley had also two or three good chances but we had a very good goalkeeper in Joe Wildsmith. He made some fantastic saves.
“We had four or five situations but we only scored from the penalty spot.
“Today who scores the second goal would have left as the winner.
“We have our problems today but we must make the most of it to have the stability and also to play good football.”
The Owls’ last league win came on Boxing Day, but Luhukay says it is not down to a lack of effort.
He added: “My players try to give 100 per cent - they give everything. This point is better than nothing. We must now have a good recovery and then we have a big game against Derby (on Tuesday).”