Tykes reaction: Barnsley were second best, admits Paul Heckingbottom after Craven Cottage defeat

Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom
Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom
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Slavisa Jokanovic admitted he is fighting to keep Chris Martin at Fulham after they ran out comfortable 2-0 winners over Barnsley.

The striker was absent for the last three outings, including the abandoned game at Reading, but returned to action with a fine performance.

Jokanovic admitted he would like his goalscorer to sign permanently from Derby.

“Chris Martin did a job with his team mates, and he did his job for Fulham. Everyone knows how important he is for us,” Jokanovic said.

“We are fighting to convince him to stay with us.

“He showed us a great performance and we are happy because he is back. But on the other hand, I am proud of all my players.

“We played very good football, we created many things along with a clean sheet. This is more important for us.

“He was a little bit confused and now he has cleared his mind, and I have promised to make him better and improve his quality.

“I expect him to play many more times for us, but in football you never know what will happen.”

Fulham were the more dominant in the first half, with chances from Martin and Lucas Piazon, although Adam Hammill nearly stunned the home crowd on 37 minutes when his shot hit the crossbar.

The effort appeared to galvanise the visitors as Tom Bradshaw headed a Conor Hourihane free kick just wide a minute later.

However, Fulham finally broke the deadlock just before the break, when Martin converted a penalty after Kevin McDonald was fouled by Angus MacDonald.

The lead was doubled 10 minutes after the restart. Aluko laid the ball off to Martin, who delivered a cross into the box for Scott Malone to volley with his left foot past Davies.

Fulham continued to dominate and a solo run on 79 minutes by Cairney was matched by an equally excellent save by Davies.

The result was no more than the home side deserved, and Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom admitted the penalty cost his side.

“From our point of view we were second best, looking back at the whole game, but I was disappointed at how we started in the game,” he said.

“From 30 minutes to half time was probably our best spell - our game plan was working, we were more comfortable.

“The penalty was a killer. I saw it at the time and watched it back afterwards to see if there was anything more to it.

“There was a hand there, don’t get me wrong, but it was soft. They tangled beforehand and both were appealing. You know the referee is watching.”