BARNSLEY NEED TARGET PRACTICE
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.
THE DIFFERENCE: Leeds striker Ross McCormack scores the winner
PICTURE PERFECT: Ross McCormack celebrates