MANAGER Paul Heckingbottom has challenged his Barnsley players to build on yesterday’s much-needed victory at relegation rivals Sunderland.
The Black Cats dropped back into the Championship relegation zone after losing to Ethan Pinnock’s headed winner inside the opening two minutes of the second half.
Pinnock nodded in from Zeki Fryers’s corner to ensure the Tykes remain two points clear of the bottom three – and it was the least they deserved.
Former Sunderland defender Heckingbottom said: “I’ve been doing these press conferences in the last few weeks saying we’ve been wasteful and that we need a result, so we’re delighted to get the win.
“We made it difficult for ourselves because we were wasteful, so I’m pleased – but there’s still things we need to get better at.
“It’s nice to score from a set-piece and the goal changed the dynamic of the game. It just shows how much you need to switch on at corners and free-kicks.
“We all know how difficult this job is, we’ve had it every window with our players linked with other clubs and me linked out of the window. I’m hoping we can bring players in during this window, not lose them.
“We should have had a penalty in the first half (Isgrove) – he won a free-kick for an identical foul outside the area and the only difference is the white line.
“You won’t hear me complain about referees, though, because you don’t want to have to rely on them to win football matches.”
While Heckingbottom, previously linked with the Sunderland job, was satisfied with the outcome, his counterpart Chris Coleman was far from happy.
The Welshman was annoyed by the way Pinnock’s goal was conceded and just as frustrated by the outcome and the groin injury to Darron Gibson that could see him sidelined for a while.
Coleman said: “Barnsley deserved it from the first minutes, they set the tempo a lot, were more aggressive and we looked nervous again at home. Disappointing.”
Sunderland: Ruiter, Browning, O’Shea, Matthews, Love, Honeyman, Gibson (McNair 33), Oviedo (Maja 46), McManaman (Asoro 61), McGeady, Vaughan. Unused substitutes: Steele, Jones, Beadling, Embleton.
Barnsley: Davies, Cavare, Pinnock, Lindsay, Fryers, Williams, Hammill (McCarthy 90), Potts, Gardner (Moncur 74), Isgrove, Thiam (Bradshaw 73). Unused substitutes: McGeehan, Townsend, Mallan, Ugbo.
We made it difficult for ourselves because we were wasteful, so I’m pleased – but there’s still things we need to get better at.Barnsley manager, Paul Heckingbottom
Referee: Robert Jones (Merseyside).