Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom admitted to feeling ‘sick’ after watching his brave side sunk by Alfred N’Diaye’s late, late winner at high-flying Wolves.
The Reds had shown plenty of battling qualities throughout the high-tempo Championship clash at Molineux, and thought they’d grabbed their deserved share of the spoils when Adam Jackson bundled home an equaliser just as the game passed the 90-minute mark.
But Senegalese hit-man N’Diaye - on loan at Wolves from Villareal - pounced in the 94th minute.
“I just feel sick,” admitted Heckingbottom. “That’s why we play the game, though.
“I love feeling like that about a game, but not like the one we ended up with here.
“That’s what Saturdays are about I suppose, and we can’t feel any more alive than we did in those last five minutes.
“There weren’t too many things wrong from our point of view, but we knew we’d be playing against a good side with lots of good players.
“We’ve got to be organised and perform properly, and we did for the majority of the game.
“There’s little bits that went wrong, and then of course Wolves’ quality, but we deserved at least a point and we thought we’d got it.”
The Reds had produced a solid and well-organised rearguard action until Bright Enobakhare smashed home the opening goal with just 10 minutes left on the clock.
Jackson fired home to level matters and the travelling Reds fans rejoiced accordingly, only for N’Diaye to send the visitors crashing to a fifth loss of the season.
PLENTY OF POSITIVES
Despite the Reds’ suffering an agonising fifth loss of the season at big-spending Wolves, boss Paul Heckingbottom sees good progress continuing.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side moved up to second place in the table thanks to Saturday’s late winning goal, but brave Barnsley went toe-to-toe with the hosts almost throughout.
That’s clearly an encouraging sign for the Reds boss.
Heckingbottom said: “We weren’t capable of a performance like that at the start of the season.
“Bit by bit we’ve got better and better, and we’ve got to continue getting better.
“Look at the two teams - Wolves have got 16 million pound players, while we’ve got lads from the lower leagues, Scotland, youth and under-23 teams. That’s credit to our players.
“They enjoy competing against players who have been bought for big money and at Wolves we more than matched them for large spells. There are lots of positives, but it is about winning games, but maybe we’ve not got that experience in our team yet to win some games ugly.”
NEED TO SHOW CHARACTER
A 94th-minute defeat is always a huge sickener for any side, and the Reds didn’t deserve that. When Adam Jackson lashed home through a crowd of legs just as the game at Wolves entered stoppage-time, the visiting faithful must have thought their side had snatched what they had deserved a the death.
However, stunning defeat was soon to follow and the Reds’ players’ heads were in their hands. This is where those players need to parade true spirit and character now.
A late loss in such a manner can have more effects than some might acknowledge, but Paul Heckingbottom and his men have shown on numerous occasions over the past couple of years that they do have that ‘bouncebackability’ they now require.
Barnsley haven’t been poor this term so far but the statistics don’t lie and just two wins from eight games leaves them hovering precariously above the drop zone.
Mid-table QPR arrive at Oakwell tomorrow night, and many home fans will see that as a perfect opportunity to bounce back.
Over to you, Hecky.