Adam Murray had a mixture of emotions at full-time at Oakwell on Friday night – pride at his side's comeback from 2-0 down but frustration that it was needed.
Cauley Woodrow's goal in the fourth added minute rescued a point from a game the Reds had undeservedly gone 2-0 down in after 71 minutes.
Aapo Halme's header halved the deficit given to Bristol City by goals from Ashley Williams and Andreas Weimann at set-pieces in either half. And Woodrow equalised with almost the last touch of the game, from Barnsley's 24th shot. The Robins had nine.
“(There's) a lot of pride in terms of our pride and our desire but mixed emotions at the minute because there's a bit of frustration in terms of the goals we conceded,” said caretaker manager Murray.
“But the fight and the energy we showed in the second half was what we're about.
“In the first half you saw a group of young players that are a little bit low on confidence. We looked like we lacked a bit of belief in the first half but we had a chat at half-time and came out with a little bit of fight.”
The opening goal came when Bambo Diaby was penalised for pulling former Reds player Marley Watkins shirt and the hosts switched off at a corner.
“In this day and age you can't pass wind without a yellow card,” said Murray. “Would I say it was a foul when I was playing? No, but in this day and age you can't do anything without giving a free-kick away.
“To say we could have defended it better is putting it nicely.
“It's frustrating because over the last three weeks we've spent an awful lot of time on our defending and defending and attacking set plays. It gets boring for footballers to do things like that but at the level we're at you can't afford not to give 100 per cent focus at these one per cent situations.
“At the other end it's one per cent goals we're conceding. You can't not defend set plays at this level.
“The pleasing thing for me is we're scoring goals and the goals we're conceding are from things I feel I can fix. If we can eradicate the stupid goals, I think we'll be in a good place.”
The goal was Woodrow's sixth of the season for the Reds. The next game is at home to one-Stoke City, who they swapped places with at the bottom of the Championship. The Potters sacked manager Nathan Jones earlier in the day.
“I thought it was one of his quieter games but you keep him on the pitch because you know at any given time he's going to pop up and get you a goal.
“They're crying out for a win, they're putting that much into the cause and a lot of people say the win would be the springboard but I really believe it would take us to the next level and push on so we'll have to hope Stoke don't get any set pieces.”
Former Barnsley manager Lee Johnson, now boss of Bristol City, had kind words for his old club.
“They've showed massive amounts of guts and gumption and I don't think Barnsley deserved to lose the game,” he said.