Date: 11th January 2016 at 1:10pm
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Manager Lee Johnson has said that the draw against Fleetwood in the first leg of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Area Final at the weekend was an okay result for Barnsley.

Hosting Steven Pressley’s side at Oakwell for the encounter, a pretty quiet first half paled to the entertainment of the second period that saw the visitors take the lead through an unfortunate Davies credited own goal, before new loan signing Ashley Fletcher scored on his debut from the bench to level matters up, and for Johnson who was speaking to the Official Site in his post game interviews, he felt it had been a pretty balanced game overall but it certainly sets the stage for our return trip to Highbury now for the second leg.

‘It`s an okay result. It`s half time and we know that, but it`s a better result having been 1-0 down. If I was to analyse the performance I would say the first half we didn`t do enough. Second half we were able to get some good tactical advice in during half time, and second half we were in the ascendency. We were unlucky to go behind, they can count themselves lucky not to have anyone sent off as well.’

With chances falling to Ryan Williams in particular to have won the game for us, Johnson went on to say that he was pleased the player was getting into those positions as sooner or later they would drop for him – although he did have some advice for the future.

‘I don`t mind anyone missing chances because they`re in there to miss them. Ryan got in good areas, on another day he could have had a hat-trick. I was most disappointed in his reaction, he spent 30 seconds on the floor banging his head into the ground. I don`t mind mistakes but they must react quickly to it.’

With Academy Graduate Brad Abbott getting his full debut in the game, Johnson was thrilled with his own performance as he stepped up to first team duties.

‘I have to say I thought Brad was fantastic. He`s only been training with the first team for four weeks properly. We thought this situation might arise, he took his opportunity and I have nothing but praise for him. We contemplated other options but we felt he deserved his chance. To take Pearson out of the team, a player who`s so influential and for Brad to come in and play like that I`m really pleased.’

Of course goal scorer Fletcher came in for specific praise have netting on his debut having arrived only last midweek.

‘We thought about starting him but Ryan Williams had been chomping at the bit and Fletch had been in a day, he didn`t even know everyone`s name today. If you bombard them with too much information too early it can have a negative affect and take away from the game. We told him he`d go on with 20 mins to go and the lads gave him a big round of applause for his first senior goal, he`s walking around with a smile like a Cheshire cat. It was a great header. I see good movement and a great header, but it was horrid to watch because it took too long to get over the line!’

The gaffer was also asked about further plans for the January window with comings and goings already, and he confirmed he was still after a few new faces if deals could be done.

‘If we don`t sign anyone we`ve got two top players coming back for the next leg, Marley Watkins and Josh Scowen! I`m sure we will add one or two by then though. Reece Wabara is 80/20 against him staying. We`re trying to do something with him, but he`s had a decent offer from a club higher up in the division.’

So turning to the return leg.

‘I`m positive about the second leg, our fans have been brilliant today and away we`ll probably have as many as them, they`ve been superb away as well. I heard the fans today they were great. They kept going till the end, like the players! There is a good rapport at the minute between the fans and players. We`re in a good place. We know we`ve got the quality in the side to unlock teams, but you have to give Fleetwood credit as well. They were very organised and disciplined. It will be interesting, and we`re thoroughly looking forward to it.’

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