Ferran Sibila praises Barnsley's aggression and backing from supporters in second half

ASSISTANT coach Ferran Sibila praised the aggression from Barnsley's players and backing from supporters in the second half of their narrow 1-0 home loss to high-flying Bournemouth at Oakwell.

On an afternoon when fans periodically voiced their displeasure at regular intervals in the Pontefract Road end towards co-owner Paul Conway, supporters also bought into Barnsley' s hearty performance on the restart especially as they threatened the Cherries and had chances to take something from the game.

Bournemouth, who took the lead early on through Philip Billing, but went onto spurn a number of chances, also lost Gary Cahill late on with the veteran defender dismissed for two bookable offences after fouls on Devante Cole.

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Barnsley could not grab an equaliser en route to their fifth successive league loss, as their winless league streak extended to 11 matches, but their spirited performance was at least one crumb of consolation on the day.

Assistant coach Ferran Sibila points the way for Barnsley's players against Bournemouth. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Sibili, leading the side in the absence of head coach Poya Asbaghi, who has tested positive for Covid, said: "We were disappointed for the loss. In the first half, Bournemouth were better and they had clear chances. The plan in the first half was to be compact and not give them space.

"In the second half, I wanted us to be a bit more aggressive and we were and we had four or five chances, but we were unable to score the goal. It was really frustrating and the supporters were with us in the second half and it was a good environment to try and change that.

"Across the game and when the game was finished, the fans stayed to applaud the team and this because they understood the effort and the fans identified with the team.

"It was a difficult day with the wind and a lot of players were having moments of indecision in the game and that happened when the goal was scored."

It was a notable day for midfielder Matty Wolfe, who made his first start, while fellow academy graduate Aiden Marsh also made his debut from the bench.

Sibila added: "We know that our focus is to get players back and a lot of players are out of the squad and some are out because of injury and there are opportunities for young players. It is really good for the club that players in the academy get this chance that they deserve.

"Wolfie played really well and it is was a good performance, even though it was some time ago that he played 90 minutes and the tempo in the Championship is higher. Marshy (also) gad a debut and it is really important for the club that they can go from the academy to the first team."