Date: 18th August 2016 at 1:03pm
Written by:

What a team, what a performance, what a group of players, what a manger, what spirit, what effort, what desire, what an inspiration.

Now I don`t want to get too carried away from two victories in the opening three games on their return to the Championship but last night`s result and performance showed any Barnsley fan that there is cause for optimism this season.

The effort and pressing from the players was immense. Their never say die attitude, the work rate and attitude. I could go on and on and on. The work ethic is as good as any team I can ever remember watching and like most previous incarnations of the Barnsley we all love, the players didn`t let their heads drop when they went 2 – 1 down. Not to mention they can play a bit as well.

Most Barnsley sides I have watched over the years would have gone on to concede a third or even fourth after going 2 – 1 down. Not this team. They showed a spirit and mental toughness not seen before at Oakwell and their never say die attitude enabled them to come back and snatch all three points with a last minute winner.

As I say, it`s not all about the effort and spirit. At times they play some delightful football to watch. They aren`t able to produce it for the full 90 minutes, not in this league, not with the calibre of the opposition they face but nor can any team. That`s when the other part of the game is so important and at the moment I can`t see any team in England matching Barnsley in that respect.

Barnsley were quick out of the clocks and often left their much fancied visitors chasing shadows in the opening 20 minutes of the first half.

We were still inside the first five minutes when Kent forced a save from Smithies which resulted in a corner.

Hourihane took the corner towards the far post where Roberts headed the ball back across for Watkins to rise and head home. 1 -0 to the super reds.

Barnsley had continued where they left off against Derby and their determination was there for the Oakwell faithful to see. They closed down quickly, forced their opponents in to mistakes and through all this they remained solid at the back and attacked with intensity and purpose with a pleasing style to watch and high tempo to match.

QPR, expectedly, came more and more in to the game as the half progressed. But the reds remained resolute and I don`t remember goalkeeper Adam Davies being forced in to making a save from open play.

In the first minute of the second half however, the reds were caught cold. Roberts, who was outstanding apart from this, found himself the wrong side of Polter as he steamed towards goal. The big defender clumsily brought him down in the box resulting in a yellow card for Roberts and a penalty to QPR.

Cherry stepped up for Rangers and made no mistake and levelled the scores at 1 – 1.

The reds didn`t let their heads drop and continued to go at QPR in search of another goal.

Unfortunately the next goal would go to QPR and yet again it was a penalty. Bree, also excellent apart from this, the guilty party this time as an attempted block resulted in him bringing Ngbakoto down in the box.

This time it was Polter who stepped up to slot the ball past Davies and it was now 2 – 1 in the favour of the visitors.

I sat there thinking that was it. The psychological damage would be enough for the players not to recover and I was already settling for three points from the first three games which on paper wasn`t a bad return.

How wrong I was, how glad I am that I was wrong. How can I have underestimated this set of players so much? The reds just simply regrouped and went again.

A free kick was awarded 20 yards out and skipper Hourihane curled it over the wall and in to the top corner of the QPR goal. 2 – 2 and I was happy with a point.

A terrific response and great goal from the skipper who put in another man of the match performance in my eyes.

There was still time for the reds to a snatch winner though. Bree hit a punt downfield. Substitute Payne, must be pushing for a start, found Scowen racing up in support and the midfielder lashed the ball in to the top of the net.

3 – 2 Barnsley and Oakwell erupted.

An absolutely unbelievable result and performance from Barnsley. I could go on and on about how well they performed.

It really has given me huge confidence for the rest of season.