BARNS­LEY NEED TAR­GET PRAC­TICE

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Matthew Mur­ray To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

REL­E­GA­TION strug­glers Barns­ley failed to reg­is­ter a mean­ing­ful at­tempt on goal in their de­feat to Leeds – but boss Danny Wil­son says his team still have sur­vival in their sights.

The Tykes – who have now gone al­most 500 min­utes with­out scor­ing at home – face Derby to­mor­row be­fore a trip to Middlesbrough next Satur­day and a daunt­ing fi­nal day clash with QPR.

Ross McCormack’s soli­tary goal con­demned them to a third de­feat in four.The Tykes are three points from safety and Wil­son con­cedes his side need three wins from their re­main­ing three matches.

“It’s not a good re­sult for us, be­ing at home with big ex­pec­ta­tions,” he said. “Who said it was ever go­ing to be easy? We thought it would go right to the wire and it will. We didn’t have enough qual­ity and it was a poor game.

“It was a typ­i­cal derby clash with­out the goal­mouth ac­tion.We huffed and puffed and had a few sit­u­a­tions de­vel­op­ing that we didn’t take ad­van­tage of and it was a frus­trat­ing af­ter­noon all­round.The one mo­ment of qual­ity from Leeds was the dif­fer­ence.

“We have ev­ery con­fi­dence go­ing to Derby, like we have done in ev­ery away game in re­cent weeks.

“We’re ready for the chal­lenge and if we didn’t be­lieve in our­selves then we might as well go home.

“We need to win our three games to make sure. Two wins might do it but we’ll be go­ing to win ev­ery game, that’s for sure.”

Leeds had strug­gled at Oak­well in re­cent sea­sons, los­ing on the last four oc­ca­sions, but they redeemed them­selves with a gritty dis­play to record their first away win since Fe­bru­ary and only their third tri­umph in 12 games.

Leeds boss Brian McDer­mott said: “It was well de­served. The game was sep­a­rated by a bit of real qual­ity with Ross’ first touch and fan­tas­tic fin­ish.

“They were tough con­di­tions, the pitch was windy and Barns­ley needed to win the game.

“Two clean sheets in two games is pleas­ing. Ross is a match-win­ner and won the game for us. He had the one chance and he took it and that made the dif­fer­ence.

“We’ve had a lot of stuff that has gone on in the last three months and the own­er­ship is sorted out now and the only story com­ing out of El­land Road this week is about the game, which I’ve found quite amus­ing.”

Leeds striker Matt Smith had the game’s first chance, but his soft header on eight min­utes was eas­ily saved by Luke Steele.

The vis­i­tors con­tin­ued to press, and took the lead on 16 min­utes when Smith’s knock-down was met by McCormack, who found him­self free in the box and his left-footed strike crept past Steele for a 29th goal of the sea­son.

Barns­ley of­fered lit­tle in the first half, de­spite con­trol­ling pos­ses­sion with ease at times. Dale Jen­nings blasted over while To­masz Cy­wka’s vol­ley went well wide.

Af­ter the break, nei­ther side cre­ated many chances un­til McCormack blasted over a vol­ley on 63 min­utes.

At the other end, the Tykes rarely threat­ened. Jen­nings’ header was com­fort­ably saved by Jack But­land and Kelvin Etuhu’s tame ef­fort summed up Barns­ley’s af­ter­noon.

For­mer Stoke and Sun­der­land man Liam Lawrence did his best for the Tykes, but his strike from 25 yards sailed nar­rowly over the cross­bar.

Sub­sti­tute Noel Hunt barged through Barns­ley’s de­fence to cre­ate a late chance for Leeds, but Jean-Yves M’voto made a last­ditch tackle to deny the for­mer Read­ing striker.

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

THE DIF­FER­ENCE: Leeds striker Ross McCormack scores the win­ner

PIC­TURE PER­FECT: Ross McCormack cel­e­brates

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