Barnsley v Nottingham Forest - Michael Sollbauer has no time to dwell on Elland Road mistake

IT will not be a surprise to reveal that Barnsley defender Michael Sollbauer did not get a great deal of sleep on Thursday night.

Leeds United's Patrick Bamford goes down under a tackle from Barnsley's Michael Sollbauer at Elland Road on Thursday. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA
Leeds United's Patrick Bamford goes down under a tackle from Barnsley's Michael Sollbauer at Elland Road on Thursday. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA

The Austrian’s fateful contribution in putting through his own net in his side’s unwarranted 1-0 derby loss at Leeds United had ramifications at opposing ends of the Championship table as the hosts were propelled to the brink of promotion and the Reds moved a step closer to relegation.

It was the toughest of moments for Sollbauer, whose consistent defensive displays since joining in January have done so much to bring stability to the club’s backline where there was previously none and give the club a fighting chance of survival.

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To the 30-year-old’s immense credit, he fronted up the day after the night before when few professionals in his shoes would have had the strength of character to do that.

Yet the pain was still raw.

Sollbauer said: “It was a hard night and a lot of things were in my mind and I did not have so much sleep.

“I had to take this time to think about it before I woke up.

“It was a hard moment. As a defender when it happens like this, it is hard.

LUCKY BREAK: Leeds United's Tyler Roberts celebrates as Barnsley's Michael Sollbauer lays on the floor in despair after scoring an own goal at Elland Road on Thursday. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

“It happened one time before when I was younger at 18 in a similar situation when the ball came in and I touched it into my own goal.

“It is part of the game and in the game before, I blocked a shot in the last second which was good. Here it was in the other direction.

“You have to analyse it and I have to be critical of myself and I should have done better in the situation.

“But you have to move on and not waste time on this mistake. But I have to speak about it – it should be like this. But I should not lose too much confidence because of this moment.”

NOT TO BE: Barnsley's Conor Chaplin shows his despair at full-time after losing to Leeds United at Elland Road on Thursday. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

On electing not to hide away from the press and face the music, he added: “It is also part of it. It is easy when you perform quite good and score a goal or whatever and you come to the press.

“You grow as a player and you have to speak to the press (when it is difficult).”

Barnsley’s situation looks a thoroughly grim one, but the potential for points deductions for Wigan Athletic and possibly Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday could yet be a factor in the finale to 2019-20, not that Sollbauer is overly focusing on that. His only concern is Barnsley winning their final two games against Nottingham Forest and Brentford and taking ownership of what they can control.

The centre-half continued: “It is a strange situation and hard for all of them (other clubs).

“We still believe we can get six points. We know it is a tough situation and challenge, but we have the chance and possibility still and we just have to go and take the points.

“We are still in and do not know what will happen and we have to fight until the last moment to take the points and it is all up to us to bring the right performances for the next games.

“We as a team have our problems right now and do not waste time on things we cannot change or influence.”

Should Barnsley return from whence they came and head straight back to League One, their lack of goals input at a critical juncture of the season – more especially up front – is being viewed as the reason why.

But Sollbauer insists that the responsibility for the club’s toils in front of goal of late is an issue shared.

He added: “Especially in these situations, it is easy to just say: ‘the strikers should score.’

“All of us know that if we have the chance, we have to score. Unfortunately at this moment in the last games, we did not take the right decisions and we did not score.

“As a team and not just the strikers, we have to be more focused and work harder.

“Sometimes, we have to really work for a goal and at the moment it is hard up front as it would be much easier for them if we take the lead.

“The opponent sometimes has just one or two chances on target and scores a goal and at the moment, this is the biggest difference and we do not pick up the points we need.

“We have to work harder to change this on Sunday.

“If we have the same quality on the pitch as we did on Thursday, I think we can cause them (Forest) problems if we have belief in ourselves.”

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