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Valerien Ismael hails Barnsley response after win at Sheffield Wednesday

Barnsley v Watford – Sky Bet Championship – Oakwell
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael described his side’s 2-1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday as “a big three points”.

The second win on the bounce for Barnsley came as a result of two first-half goals.

Cauley Woodrow and Dominik Frieser won a difficult game for the Tykes, who climb to 13th in the Championship table while Wednesday remain rock bottom.

The hosts broke the deadlock with the first chance of the game in the fourth minute.

Owls midfielder Josh Windass latched on to a Barry Bannan pass, chipped Barnsley goalkeeper Jack Walton and tapped into an empty net.

Barnsley’s equaliser came in the 14th minute when a Matty James corner found Woodrow with a bullet header from close range.

The third goal of the game followed and was scored by Barnsley’s Frieser in the 37th minute.

The midfielder blasted the visitors ahead, netting from close range as he capitalised on clever link-up play from James, Callum Brittain and Conor Chaplin.

Ismael said: “It’s a big three points. We are very happy with the performance and we can enjoy this evening.

“We reacted perfectly to going a goal down. You have to be focused if you make mistakes.

“The second half was a big fight but we are delighted with the win.

“We had to stay compact and press. We struggled a little at points but Jack Walton did his job.

“We are in good shape. The momentum is on our side and we need to recover for our next game on Tuesday.

“A big win gives us good confidence. We are a young team and we showed that we have the capability to come back in a game.

“It’s a tough schedule at the moment. We have to give everything to get the points. We have the possibility to make changes and adapt more to the Championship in the January transfer window.

“Today’s win was an early Christmas presents for our fans.”

Owls midfielder Kadeem Harris flew down the right-hand side and forced Barnsley shot-stopper Walton into an acrobatic save shortly after the interval.

A powerful effort from Wednesday’s Joey Pelupessy was pushed onto the crossbar by Walton in the 78th minute, the closest the hosts came to an equaliser in the derby.

Wednesday manager Tony Pulis said: “It’s all about confidence. We switched off twice and gave two really poor goals away.

“I really do think the players are giving their best. We just needed a little bit of luck.

“The players are what they are. It took the boys a while to get to grips with the Barnsley team, who play well on the front foot. I thought we were the better team in the second half.

“We changed it around and there was much more positivity. The players responded better. The group needs a little bit of inspiration and we need to bring one or two players in.

“We had the Dominic Iorfa injury today. He’s been such a great lad since he’s come into this football club. To lose him now is a massive blow for us. He’ll be out for at least six months.

“We have to bring players in with a little bit more quality in January. The depth of the squad and the identity of the team are two things that really concern me.”