Barnsley head coach Daniel Stendel handed out praise following his side’s impressive 1-0 victory over Fulham which came thanks to a stunning Luke Thomas solo effort in the first half.
Fulham’s bright start saw their forward talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic come closest when his curling shot flew narrowly over the bar after some good work by Aboubakar Kamara.
But Barnsley took the lead after a brilliant piece of individual play by new signing Thomas in the 13th minute. Thomas collected the ball out wide and skipped past Joe Bryan before calmly slotting the ball under Marcus Bettinelli.
Stendel said: “I’m very happy about the result but more about the performance today. We knew that Fulham have a good squad but if we played with more conviction we had a chance to win this game.
“Most of the time we played really well, Fulham had some chances in the second half, but we deserved to win the game.
“I’m a little surprised with it being the first game in the Championship and having so many new faces who are also very young, but we played so good.
“We could have won by more and there were big chances for Bahre and Luke (Thomas) but we got the three points and kept a clean sheet which is also good.
“I thought we could win before the game because I can see what my players do in training and pre-season and they did it today. I’m very proud.”
Fulham boss Scott Parker acknowledged Barnsley’s brave performance and insisted his team are aware of the challenge they face this season.
Parker said: “I’m bitterly disappointed. We knew it was going to be a tough battle in the first game of the season, which it proved to be.
“We started okay in the first 10 minutes of the first half, but Barnsley got a grip of the game and caused us a few problems.
“We anticipated how fast it would be out of the blocks – they’re obviously a very strong side here at home.
“In the second half we got into the game and we had chances which they defended heroically at times but overall it’s very disappointing.
“We understand what league it is that we’re in. We have players that have already been in this division and they understand what it’s like.
“You can always lose a game of football. We could have got one back in the second half, but it wasn’t to be. Every game in this league is going to be a challenge and the rest of the games will be the same.”
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