Barnsley's Poya Asbaghi delighted by the defensive fight, but knows his team needs to strike a balance

Poya Asbaghi was delighted with the fight his Barnsley team showed on a real test of their defensive courage, but knows they need more bravery in possession than they showed against West Bromwich Albion.

Barnsley know full well hw physical and difficult Valerien Ismael teams can be to play against, having been one themselves for most of last season.

Add in a cold, foggy Friday night and a relegation fight that is looking hard to win, and they could take heart from a 0-0 draw.

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The highlights were all defensive, with Callum Brittain, Carlton Morris and Michal Helik all coming up with outstanding clearances as balls headed for their net.

RESOLVE: Barnsley coach Poya Asbaghi was pleased with the way his team defended in tough circumstances against West Bromwich Albion

"We knew it was going to be a tough fight," said Asbaghi. "It was the definition of a tough fight, a really physical battle.

"They are opponents who might be the toughest in the league playing this way but also I felt we stood up and took the fight.

"Of course you can always say you expect the players to give 100 per cent but it's really easy not to when we're not winmning as many games as we want to against teams who give you a real fight. There were some individual actions that helped us to keep the clean sheet.

"We worked collectively to take a clean sheet but to be able to win these games you have to be better offensively. Against an opponent we know is sometimes physically superior you have to be smarter when you have the ball, faster in your head, faster moving the ball and use your counter-attacks in a better way. We didn't use that so we didn't have a great advantage.

"The effort was there, for sure, the lads are really putting up a fight. For 90 minutes plus additional time they are killing thesmelves out there which is something to take with us but we know we want to create more chances."

Without their captain Cauley Woodrow, missing with a knee injury, Barnsley carried next to no attacking threat.

"If you look at us for the first 15 minutes we were more brave with the bal," said the coach. "It was our best period offensively.

"I think the more the game went (on) we lost a little bit of that courage and the game played more into West Bromwich hands, they womn the ball early, creating corners and throw-ins, which we know they're good at.

"We should have carried (what we did in) the first 15 minutes more but I also understand it's this balance. West Brom are a team where you are more afraid of what they can create from counter-attacks than build-ups and you have this in your mind.

"I can understand the players sometimes being too cautious but I hope with time we can be more brave with the ball."

Asbaghi revealed that Romal Palmer missed the match through illness, but has tested negative for Covid-19 in a PCR test.