Valerien Ismael's 'joy' as Daryl Dike breaks his Barnsley duck

Valerien Ismael spoke of his “joy” at Daryl Dike's first goal for Barnsley.

The striker, only able to join on deadline day when he won the USA cap which made him eligible for a work permit, came off the bench to score the second goal in a 2-0 win over Stoke City.

It was an unlovely performance, which probably only made it lovelier for their coach, Ismael. Managers love to see their side grind out wins, and to keep clean sheets.

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“The result was perfect for us tonight, two goals,” he commented.

DELIGHT: Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael was pleased for Daryl DikeDELIGHT: Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael was pleased for Daryl Dike
DELIGHT: Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael was pleased for Daryl Dike

“Dike's first goal for us was a real joy to see him score like that and another clean sheet.

“The game for sure was really difficult because the opponent played more direct and we had to fight to win the ball.

“We scored quickly but we struggled a lot from the first half because we conceded too many corners. We were lucky in some situations because Stoke were not rally dangerous.

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“We tried to change it in the second half but it was the same picture. It was all about adapting to the situation.

“I'm very overjoyed tonight because the guys recognise it's all about getting the result and what we have to do to win the game. We have to press, fight, be more direct and concentrate on the set-pieces.

“I think we recognised an improved mindset to adapt. Tonight the opponent didn't want to play football but we had to stay strong. I think this is the big difference for our team.”

Barnsley have shut their opponents out in four of the last six games. When they denied Nottingham Forest last month it was the first time since the sides met in November they had not conceded in the league.

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“It was a really long time without a clean sheet,” Ismael acknowledged. “We've conceded a lot of early goals, individual mistakes and now I think we're resolving a lot of problems and issues.

“We have to stay concentrated because everything was not really clinical. We have to be aware of that and for sure on Saturday (against Millwall) we have to improve our clearances.”

Barnsley are a point outside the play-offs with a game in hand but their unflappable manager is more interested in the other end of the table.

“Forty-eight points with 15 games remaining is a great situation for us,” he conceded. “Bt it's only 48 points and we need one more win to get over the 50-point line.”

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