“Having the crowd back again makes the game different. From Barnsley to Cardiff is far so we appreciate all the fans who came. It is nice that we could get a point for them,” he said.
“I remember the shot of Cauley (Woodrow) and the finishes of Carlton (Morris). Cardiff also had chances but, over the 90 minutes, we had a bit more.”
Cardiff manager Mick McCarthy was happy to see fans back in the stadium but disappointed his side could not deliver a winning start against his home-town club.
The game ended in a 1-1 draw after goals from Marlon Pack and Toby Sibbick.
Pack’s header from a corner broke the deadlock in the 54th minute after both teams had earlier efforts ruled out for offside.
Cardiff were unable to build on their lead and 15 minutes later, Barnsley equalised through Sibbick.
A super long pass from substitute Josh Benson released Sibbick, who took the ball in his stride before firing past Phillips for last season’s losing play-off semi-finalists.
“It was emotional and having fans back in was great, it was a shame we couldn’t turn it into a win,” said McCarthy.
“You won’t have a tougher physical game than that and if you aren’t going to win, don’t get beaten. I’ve been around a lot of crowds and that was as good as any.
“I hope we can improve on that and give them something to really shout about. There are about eight things we are unhappy about with their goal, little mistakes.
“We should have kept the press on and then they wouldn’t have been able to find that pass. We had the better chances and we both had a goal disallowed.”
Cardiff City: Phillips, McGuinness, Flint, Nelson, Ng, Pack; Ralls (Wintle 65), Bagan, Bacuna (Moore 76), Giles; Collins (Harris 86). Unused substitutes: Morrison, Smithies, Colwill, Bowen.
Barnsley: Collins, Sibbick, Helik, Kitching, Brittain, Styles; Palmer (Benson 63), Ben Williams (Moon 76), Morris, Woodrow; Frieser (Oduor 72). Unused substitutes: Walton, Jordan Williams, Halme, Thompson.
Referee: S Martin (Staffordshire).