Poya Asbaghi says Barnsley have momentum in relegation scrap

Barnsley v Middlesbrough – Sky Bet Championship – Oakwell Stadium
(Image credit: Will Matthews)

Barnsley head coach Poya Asbaghi believes his side have momentum in their relegation fight after a 3-2 victory over Middlesbrough.

A goal from Mads Andersen and Amine Bassi’s double was enough to seal all three points and move Barnsley within six points of safety with a game in hand.

Middlesbrough fought back through Andraz Sporar and a Liam Kitching own goal deep in stoppage time but now sit eighth, two points off the play-offs.

Asbaghi said: “I knew it was a tough game against a really good opponent. We talked before the game, of course we have respect for Middlesbrough, but we did not want to show too much of that in the beginning of the game.

“We came into half-time and talked about not getting too comfortable and to try to go out and play like it is 0-0 and chase the third goal.

“What we did do was work really hard in the end and we tried to protect the lead and we accomplished that. It was a really important and impressive victory by the lads.

“We feel that we have a little bit of momentum, we are playing better football and we are working as a unit much better now than what we did a month ago.

“We have to take advantage of the situation we are in right now, with the confidence we have and take it into Derby (next week).”

Barnsley took the lead in the seventh minute. A great cross from Bassi found Andersen in the box, who headed the ball into the bottom left corner.

Barnsley doubled their lead in the 16th minute as Carlton Morris laid the ball off to Bassi just inside the box and he placed the ball into the bottom right corner.

It was 3-0 in the 54th minute with a quick counter attack. Morris threaded the ball through to Bassi who put the ball past Lumley despite being held back by Anfernee Dijksteel.

Middlesbrough pulled one back from the spot through Sporar before Aaron Connolly’s goal was ruled out by the offside flag.

Liam Kitching gave Middlesbrough another goal back deep in added time after putting the ball into his own net.

Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder said: “The first 15 minutes cost us, the attitude of our back three not getting up the pitch.

“I thought Carlton Morris dominated our back three, which was disappointing. He set the line of where the game was going to be played. They played into him and down the side of him, I thought he was excellent.

“They [Barnsley] got the energy off their supporters who got right behind their team. They were winning 50-50s which allowed them to dictate the first half.

“We deservedly went into half time with the score as it was.

“I think you have got to give credit to Barnsley in the way they played but for me it was self-inflicted the result. The goals that we are conceding at the moment are ridiculous.

“If I was allowed nine subs I would have made five subs at half time, the back five come off.”

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