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Poya Asbaghi: Keeping Barnsley up would be my highest achievement in management

Hull City v Barnsley – Sky Bet Championship – MKM Stadium
(Image credit: Tim Goode)

Poya Asbaghi has admitted steering Barnsley to safety would eclipse any achievement in his managerial career after overseeing a fourth win in eight Sky Bet Championship matches.

First-half goals from Carlton Morris and Michal Helik moved the Tykes, who won just two of their opening 29 league fixtures, two points behind fourth-bottom Reading.

In his previous club job, Asbaghi steered IFK Gothenburg into the Europa League after winning the Swedish Cup final.

But, while warning his players that they have achieved nothing yet, Asbaghi is in no doubt where securing survival would rank in his career.

He said: “This challenge would be my highest achievement, having come to a different country and a new league with just nine or 10 players available in January.

“But the only thing we have done with these good performances is given ourselves a chance. We haven’t accomplished anything but at least we have some sort of control over our destiny now going into the last games of the season.”

Both of the home side’s goals came from Amine Bassi corners, which were was also a reward for the team’s pre-match focus on the training ground.

“It was the start to the game that we wanted by pushing Bristol back and getting corners, which were decisive in us winning the game and you need to have that threat from set-pieces,” the former Sweden Under-21 international coach said.

“Before the game it was our main focus because we knew Bristol City can leave spaces that we could use in a good way and I’m happy that it paid off.

“We have to keep using set-pieces now because that’s what got us three points from this game.

“We looked a little bit tired in the second half, but I understand that as we played the toughest opponent possible in Fulham on Saturday and I’m very pleased we were still able to defend a lead.”

Robins boss Nigel Pearson was annoyed by his team’s dip in performance following Saturday’s 1-0 triumph at Blackburn.

He said: “It’s the same group of players who played at the weekend and did very well, but our inconsistencies came back to haunt us and that remains a problem for us this season.

“There was no reason why we couldn’t perform in the same sort of way that we did against Blackburn, but the way we started was sloppy.

“We were also wasteful on the ball and were turning the ball over so many times when there was not a lot of pressure on us. It all comes down to concentration.

“We’ve got eight games to go now and the players have the opportunity to show me what they are made of before we look to make decisions concerning next season’s squad.”

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