Poya Asbaghi on a sleepy Barnsley FC display and Mads Andersen's absence

CANDID BARNSLEY head coach Poya Asbaghi admitted that he sympathised with watching spectators after his Reds era started with a whimper in a 2-0 home loss to Swansea City at Oakwell.

Poya Asbaghi, pictured on the touchline during his first Barnsley match in charge against Swansea. Picture: PA.

Asbaghi's game plan was based around making his struggling Barnsley side - clearly low on confidence - hard to beat and while it worked for the opening seventy minutes, the hosts had little to offer after Oliver Ntcham put the Swans in front and Jamie Paterson soon added a quick-fire second.

On a tough night for Barnsley, who lost for the tenth time in 11 games and face a huge game at Peterborough United on Saturday, said: "It is disappointing to lose, especially when you play at home in front of the home crowd. If you look at the first half, we were a well organised team and not allowing Swansea to create any big chances until the last minute of the first half.

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"Of course, if I was a spectator, especially at home in front of the TV, I would fall asleep. It was not a super-funny game to watch. But our ambition was not to make the most funny game, but to work well as a unit and defend well, which we did.

"But what we wanted to do better was to try and convert our defence to create even more counter-attacks and press them higher and win the ball higher up. At the start of the second-half, we were doing this is a better way and we had a good chance when Devante (Cole) played it inside for Cauley (Woodrow).

"Then we made two substitutions and it felt like we were getting even more energy and it felt we were coming into the game, getting more momentum and scaring Swansea, but then we did something we had done something we didn't do in the game - losing the organisation and then we that happened, Swansea had midfielders free in the middle to dribble the ball against our backline and how we reacted was not good enough and they created chances to score.

"Our reaction after that can be better.

"We aren't the team with the highest confidence right now, which is really normal in this situation. Out of experience, how you gain confidence is that you have organisation you can rely upon."

Asbaghi confirmed that Mads Andersen missed the game through illness.

Explaining his absence, he said: "He had a small fever when he woke up and as the day went, he felt better and was fresh and wanted to play the game.

"We made a lateral flow test early, which was negative and made a PCR test, but unfortunately, we could not get the test back in time. Since we did not want to move out of protocol, we did not play him. But he is feeling good and hopefully he feels just as good tomorrow and the PCR test comes back negative and hopefully he is an option for the next game.

"Of course we wanted a player like Mads, but cannot use his absence as an excuse (not) to win games. We will lose players here and there."