Date: 21st February 2018 at 2:52pm
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With the appointment of head coach Jose Morais, caretaker gaffer Paul Harsley has now returned to his role as Under 23 coach and he’s spoken of his time in charge.

The 39 year old stepped up to first team duties following the departure of Paul Heckingbottom and he oversaw the South Yorkshire derby with Sheffield Wednesday where we came from behind to take a point on February 10.

Speaking to the Official Site he explained.

‘I said in the week in the lead up to the game and after the game, I`ve kind of always prepared for this. There`s a way of developing the younger players anyway, so all the stuff that would go into the game like the pre-match analysis and training sessions were all linked together. We made sure we gave clear and consistent messages to the players, that were easy to understand around what we wanted to do and also the threat to Sheffield Wednesday and their weaknesses. So I felt organised, I felt ready for it and I really enjoyed it.’

Harsley went on to say that despite the planning and his confidence, the game was clearly emotional and different from his usual experiences – especially the derby element on top.

‘It was good; there were a lot of emotions, obviously – it was a big game. I thought it was a perfect game, to be honest, for us – something that we could really look forward to and get our teeth into, against our local rivals. So, standing on the touchline, there was a mixture of emotions – excitement, a few nerves floating around too. But, from the work we`d done in the week, we were confident that we could go into the game and give a good show. Some of the things that came out in the game had shown that the work had gone in and we were pleased with it.’

With Morais’ arrival on Friday, Harsley resumed duties with the Under 23s and Martin Devaney returned to U18 duties and he thanked the fans for the support that they were both given personally, as well as the backing of the team in the game itself.

‘It`s really nice and you feel like we had the backing on the day and I think the fans could see that the players were trying their hardest and putting a good account of themselves, so I think that helped for the reaction of the fans of me. There was a lot of excitement; the atmosphere was good in the run up to the game – the pre-match warm ups and then when the game kicked off.’

He added.

‘I think when we conceded and then we scored quickly was great – I think that got the crowd right up for it, and the players kicked on from there. The only disappointing thing was that we couldn`t get the three points that I think we deserved.’

Whilst thanking other club staff for their support, and the players, the final word went to the fans.

‘The support myself, the players and all the staff got from the fans was second to none. I honestly can`t thank everyone enough and it shows just what a special place Oakwell can be. Keep getting behind the lads and the staff. I think there`s 15 games left now and they`re all cup finals, starting with Burton Albion; it`s a massive game. Then they start coming thick and fast again, so I think it`s idea that we`ve got more or less a fully fit squad who can have a really good go at it. But we just need to back everyone to get us out of a relegation fight and get behind Jose, along with the players!’

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