Pressley happy to win the ugly way
STEVEN Pressley refused to apologise for his side’s ‘ugly’ victory as Fleetwood Town hauled themselves out of the relegation zone.
Jamie Proctor’s fine run and finish on 29 minutes was enough to seal a crucial three points and condemn fellow strugglers Barnsley to a fifth straight league defeat.
The Tykes, who now slip into the bottom four, produced another dismal display in front of their own fans and, in truth, never looked like scoring.
A delighted Pressley said: “I am certainly not going to apologise for winning ugly.
“Moving forward, I don’t want to win every game like this, but to get out of trouble you have to start by doing the basics right.
“I am so proud of the players because this is a significant win for the club.
“We gave Barnsley, a team with a lot of creative players, very few chances and I think that says it all.
“At times it was a defensive masterclass.”
Dan Crowley teased his way to the edge of the area before curling an effort inches over the bar on 19 minutes. But that was as good as it got.
The mood around Oakwell was perfectly summed up when Josh Scowen hit a speculative 35-yard strike down the throat of visiting goalkeeper Chris Maxwell to huge ironic cheers from the home faithful. And two minutes later, the irony turned to disgust as Proctor picked up a loose ball in midfield before beating two men and firing low past Nick Townsend after 29 minutes.
Proctor pressed and bullied his marker Marc Roberts all afternoon – the latter enduring a torrid game at centre-half.
The Tykes went close on the stroke of half-time when skipper Alfie Mawson’s dipping freekick forced a fine save from Maxwell.
Seven minutes after the break, Fleetwood almost doubled their advantage when Bobby Grant cut inside before forcing a splendid stop from Townsend.
Barnsley huffed and puffed late on – Maxwell making a decent save from a Michael Smith header.
The Lancashire-based outfit came close to scoring again when substitute Ashley Hunter found the side-netting from a tight angle on 81 minutes.
“We looked like a schoolboy team at times,” Barnsley boss Lee Johnson said.“We huffed and puffed but I am not going to hide from this – we were short of quality.
“When five or six of our best players return, I think our starting 11 is a match for any team in this division on its day.
“It is all about that internal desire and our players have that. I had to change things at half-time because clearly it wasn’t working. We had to go more direct.
“I am disappointed but it is important we keep working hard.”
STAR MAN CONNOR McLAUGHLIN