Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael has named dropped Bristol City and Birmingham City in his response to the claim from Derby County boss Wayne Rooney that the Tykes are the most direct side he has ever seen.
The two sides played out a goalless draw at Oakwell last night, a result that brought an end to Barnsley’s seven-game winning run.
Derby shifted to a more direct style of play to match their hosts, who had the better of the chances in last night’s game.
Speaking after the game, Rooney made a bold claim about the Tykes and their approach to games – though insisted it was not a criticism.
He said (via the Barnsley Chronicle’s Doug O’Kane): “Barnsley are the most direct team I have possibly ever seen and, in fairness, we were like that tonight.”
Ismael responded to the comments from the opposition boss in his own post-match interview.
“It is important for the managers or players to not be disrespectful with their comments,” said the Tykes manager.
“Don’t blame the pitch, don’t blame us, just say you wanted to play like this because you respect Barnsley’s pressing.
“I saw Bristol play like that, Birmingham, now Derby and after they just try to blame us but it is not the truth. There is a lot of work every day behind what we do. We stay true to ourselves and if you play Barnsley, you know what will happen from the 1st minute until last.”
Barnsley have been too much for opposition sides to handle in recent weeks and their winning run has seen them climb into the Championship play-off places – a hugely impressive feat for a side that only escaped relegation on the last day of the 2019/20 season.
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Valerien is well within his rights to respond to Rooney’s ‘direct’ claims, particularly given the way the Rams approached last night’s game.
The Tykes have been hugely impressive this term and it’s natural that they’ll ruffle a few feathers given their style of play is different from a lot of sides in the Championship.
The Barnsley supporters will likely love Ismael’s response to Rooney’s comments and his staunch defense of his squad.