Barnsley can hold their heads up after loss to ‘rough house’ Cardiff City

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Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom praised his side’s performance despite defeat against Cardiff City on Tuesday night.

The Reds were denied a deserved share of the spoils after conceding late on at Oakwell.

However, the high-flying Bluebirds have put three past the likes of Aston Villa, Leeds United and Ipswich so far this season and they only picked up their winner in fortunate fashion against the Reds.

And Heckingbottom said: “I’m pleased with the performance, because we knew it would be difficult.

“We knew what we were coming up against and there was absolutely nothing in it whatsoever.

“That was probably the least the ball will be in play in 90 minutes this season.

“It doesn’t make for a great spectacle but we had to stand up to that and we did and it was disappointing to lose the game the way that we did.

“I’d rather be in their dressing room having won than being in ours having lost.

“They don’t roll over for anyone and they don’t concede many goals. Regardless of who they’re playing it’s a tough game for the opposition.”

The Reds more than matched their counterparts, who are chasing automatic promotion this season.

Barnsley have always boxed beyond their weight class in the Championship and it was another one of those games for Heckingbottom’s men.

The rough style of Neil Warnock’s side is just another in a long list of things the inexperienced Reds have to get used to in this league.

And Heckingbottom added: “I told the boys afterwards to have their heads held high after that performance.

“You would be hard pushed to see the team who are second and the team who are 16th in that game.

“They’re definitely still learning. I can’t believe we know the [rough] tactics the opposition and the referees don’t.

“I don’t want my attitude on the result and the game to effect how the players feel after a good performance out there.”