Michael Duff defends Barnsley FC tactics in face of Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt's criticism

Barnsley were accused of showing no ambition to win the game as they held Bolton to a third successive blank.

Respective keepers James Trafford and Brad Collins only had three on-target efforts to save between them in this top-seven encounter.

It led to Bolton boss Ian Evatt said: “Barnsley have just come down from the Championship and almost made the Premier League 18 months ago,” said Evatt.

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“That team beat Sheffield Wednesday comfortably at Hillsborough and we have completely dominated the game.

Barnsley manager Michael Duff with James Norwood who missed a late chance (Picture: Steve Ellis)Barnsley manager Michael Duff with James Norwood who missed a late chance (Picture: Steve Ellis)
Barnsley manager Michael Duff with James Norwood who missed a late chance (Picture: Steve Ellis)

“There was no real ambition from them to win the game and that speaks volumes.

“They have come and paid us the ultimate respect to sacrifice everything they have been doing, keeping men behind the ball to frustrate and disrupt.”

Barnsley boss Michael Duff – whose side stay sixth, one spot ahead of Wanderers – countered Evatt’s claim, saying: “It wasn’t a case of settling for a point.

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“In the 93rd minute, we were the ones who had a good chance to win the game. It’s never a case of shutting up shop; it’s being difficult to beat, hard to play against and picking your moments.

“That’s one thing we didn’t do particularly well, we could have picked our moments slightly better. But it is a good point from a difficult place to come. And it was a good performance on the back of last week’s poor performance (a 2-0 home defeat to Exeter).

“We could have used the ball a bit better. Last week we passed it for the sake of passing it, this time we turned it over a few too many times.

“However, you take a point and clean sheet away from home all day. There is slight frustration but after last week you take the positives.”

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Collins kept out a second-minute effort from Dion Charles while the Wanderers striker could not convert a close-range second-half chance.

Barnsley might have cracked the division’s tightest defence but James Norwood headed over Nicky Cadden’s cross and substitute Cadden’s free-kick was saved by Trafford.

Bolton: Trafford, Jones, Santos, Johnston, Bradley, Williams (Morley 84), Thomason (Dempsey 69), Iredale (Kachunga 84), Afolayan, Bodvarsson (Bakayoko 76), Charles (Sadlier 75). Unused subs: Sheehan, Lee.

Barnsley: Collins, Cundy, Andersen, Kitching, Edwards, Benson (Kane 81), Connell (Phillips 81), Larkeche (Cadden 46), Aitchison (Martin 66), Cole, Norwood. Unused substitutes: Walton, Moon, Jalo.

Referee: D Rock (Hertfordshire).