Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore is seeing signs of hard work paying off after ending their eight-game winless run with a 2-1 win at play-off chasing Barnsley.
Jordan Rhodes’ double secured Moore his first victory as Owls boss and brought to a half a 10-game unbeaten run for the Tykes, who had won nine of those matches.
A late Carlton Morris goal gave Barnsley hope, but Wednesday held on to move to within six points of safety.
Moore said: “I’m really pleased for everyone at the football club to get three much-needed points today.
“We wanted to finish the week strongly and I thought that we did that.
“Looking at the performance, we knew that we had to come here and be strong, resolute and dependable.
“I thought there was times in a frantic match where we put our foot on the ball and I was really pleased with the result.
“Barnsley make it really difficult for teams coming here. We had to stand up against them and we did that.
“We altered the shape and personnel in the team, but you’ve still got to be accounted for.
“I said it at the start when looking at the games. It was horses for courses in terms of how we go about our business.
“I’ve seen a slow improvement week after week and it was good to see the players apply themselves today.
“I’m really pleased with the players today. Feeling that adulation from the three points is really important for them.”
Rhodes broke the deadlock in the 38th minute. Owls captain Barry Bannan put the ball on a plate for his attacking colleague to deliver a bullet header beyond a helpless Brad Collins as the relegation battlers took the lead at half time.
Tykes boss Valerian Ismael made a triple change following the interval. Aapo Halme, Toby Sibbick and Morris replaced Romal Palmer, Sollbauer and Frieser.
But Rhodes bagged a second goal as he doubled his side’s lead in the 53rd minute.
Barnsley’s Morris pulled one back in the 78th minute after latching onto Halme’s headed pass and beating Joe Wildsmith with a smart volley on the turn.
Ismael said: “We are disappointed to lose the game, especially when it’s a derby game. We know what it means for our fans.
“We have to stay fair and say that Sheffield Wednesday were better and deserved to win.
“You could see that fatigue impacted the game today. We made two mistakes for the goals and it’s all about tiredness and concentration. That’s why it was such a difficult game.
“Even though we played badly, we should have been awarded two penalties. If the referee did his job, then maybe we could have won or at least stayed in the game.
“We are fifth with a play-off ticket. If you want to get in the play-offs, we need 75 points and at least four wins from the last eight games.
“Sheffield Wednesday played like a team who wanted to survive and had a fresher mindset than us.
“The international break is a time to recover, to reset and come back with a fresh mindset for the last eight games.”
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