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Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael proud after seventh successive win

Barnsley v Blackburn Rovers – Sky Bet Championship – Oakwell
(Image credit: Zac Goodwin)

Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael was proud of his team’s mentality after they beat Birmingham 1-0 at Oakwell.

A second-half Daryl Dike rocket saw the Reds climb into the Sky Bet Championship’s top six after securing their seventh successive win.

Ismael said: “In my 28 or 29 years in football, I have never seen a strike like that before. It was something unbelievable.

“Congratulations to Dike and the guys for a great win today.

“It was all about defending long balls and second balls. You have to stay strong and you have to deal with the way they play.

“In the second half we made changes and put pressure on the opponent.

“We’ve kept a clean sheet and we are in a brilliant position at the moment.

“The transfer window was important for us and now we are getting the reward.

“It’s important to make the right decisions in transfer periods and I am delighted that we made some great choices.

“This is what you can achieve when you believe. Everyone has the same vision, and everyone is hungry.

“We will have a clear picture of the table just before the international break.”

Harlee Dean had the first chance of the game but the Blues captain could only steer his header wide in the opening exchanges.

Cauley Woodrow followed with the Tykes’ first effort of the afternoon. Firing low past the post, the forward failed to find the target with a quarter of an hour gone.

Dike broke the deadlock in the 49th minute. Latching onto Carlton Morris’ pass down the right flank, the American fired a thunderbolt past a helpless Neil Etheridge from 22 yards.

Birmingham boss Aitor Karanka said: “They scored and we were unable to score. It’s impossible to score a goal when we don’t shoot on target.

“We had 90 minutes to shoot and we were unable to have a shot on target. I don’t know why that was. I encourage players to shoot.

“Once again we couldn’t score. We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we lost.

“When you lose a game, something hasn’t worked and as a coach I am responsible for the result.

“I tried to play with a strong team. They are really good at set-pieces and I thought that we could have kept more of the ball.

“We are in this position because of the mistakes that we are making. We can’t blame anybody but ourselves.”