PROUD MORAIS EYES A MIRACLE
Tykes out of bottom three with one to go
CHARISMATIC Barnsley boss Jose Morais confessed he ‘believes in miracles’ after his side produced a spellbinding display to end Brentford’s play-off hopes.
A fortunate opener by Kieffer Moore and Oliver McBurnie’s second-half header lifted the Tykes out of the bottom three going into next weekend’s final game at Derby.
And Morais was determined to milk the moment just five days after their dispiriting 3-0 capitulation at Forest.
“I believe in miracles but sometimes they do not happen,” he said. “I am very proud of my players. We deserved more than the two home wins since I’ve been here but this is a special moment.
“Before we think about our game plan for Derby, I congratulate the boys and will enjoy a drink with friends tonight.
“The seeds are there and one day they will come out. Today was one of those days.”
The manager’s entertaining philosophy, which contrasted starkly with Dean Smith’s dark mood, was summed up by his view on Moore’s all-important 11th-minute opener.
After the Bees had buzzed around the home goal for a full 10 minutes carving out three half-chances, Barnsley scored from their first foray upfield.
Gary Gardner strode forward with style and confidence before Moore’s overhit cross confounded Daniel Bentley after hitting the bar.
“Perhaps Kieffer meant to score a goal, but not in the way that he did,” said Morais.
Smith’s assessment that it was a ‘spawny goal’ was probadebut, bly more accurate, but it was hard to knock Morais’ spirit.
His side refused to sit back on their lead and simply battered Brentford into submission after the break.
Tykes heroes old and new combined for the killer second in the 51st minute. Adam Hammill, who put in an athletic and skilful effort, curled over a corner for McBurnie to head down and just over the line to send Oakwell into raptures.
Moore spurned two outstanding chances to double Barnsley’s lead as they stormed forward.
It was a full 77 minutes before Jack Walton, on his home fielded a shot in anger by Chris Mepham.
Several Tykes players could have been man of the match as they produced a brilliant, sometimes thrilling, team effort against quality opponents.
Connor Mahoney and Brad Potts joined Gary Gardner in dominating midfield with McBurnie combining well with Hammill.
Morais highlighted Barnsley’s invention and game management as they comfortably saw the game out.
Whether they can turn on the same style under enormous last-day pressure at Derby remains to be seen, but they merit Championship football on this evidence.
Brentford will surely continue to charm with their passing football, although Smith was in no mood to see the bright side.
“We were in control for 15 minutes, then they went upfield and got a spawny goal,” he said.
“We took the game back over again and I told the lads to keep doing the same things at halftime and we’d get chances.
“But we didn’t do our jobs from the corner and then lost our discipline.
“Barnsley deserved it in the second half but I’m disappointed because that’s as poor as we have played.”
UP AND IN: Brentford keeper Daniel Bentley is helpless as Kieffer Moore scores Inset: Barnsley celebrates their second