Neill Collins says character was key to Barnsley beating Carlisle

By Sports Desk January 16, 2024

Neill Collins praised the character of his Barnsley side as they came from behind to beat Carlisle 2-1.

Luke Armstrong put the visitors ahead after a strong start, before Devante Cole levelled and Herbie Kane grabbed the winner with a spot-kick.

Collins said: “I didn’t expect that level of performance. I don’t know the exact reasons for it, other than we’ve just had too many (players) on an off night all at once.

“It’s quite clear there were a lot of individual errors out there, they were pretty basic.

“I think tonight it was more just technical mistakes or decision making and I think we got punished for it, could’ve been punished more for it.

“Ultimately the players just dug in, we got to half-time and we were able to freshen it up.

“We scored a fantastic goal to get ourselves back level and then obviously went on and won it.

“We’ll probably have to try and learn a couple of lessons and move on.

“We managed to get to half time at 1-0 which I thought was important and then in the second half I thought we started to get a bit more quality in our play.

“The players showed a lot of good character to keep at it, to keep together. It’s very easy when you’re having a night like that to just compound it and end up in a complete disaster.

“The fans should be pleased they kept at it.”

Carlisle manager Paul Simpson felt the result was harsh on his team.

He said: “We deserved something out of that game tonight.

“People can say we didn’t finish our chances again and that’s a big part of it because in the first 13 minutes we’ve probably had four incredible chances.

“You have to take one of them, one’s got to go in.

“We had a plan of how we wanted to try and press them, very similar to Oxford at the weekend.

“I thought we won the ball well in good areas and we had a good shape about us.

“But with the chances (Daniel) Butterworth’s had in the first half, you have to take one of them, it’s simple as that.

“Massively disappointing but the pleasing thing is – and the thing I’ve said to the players in there – there’s been times where we’ve actually deserved nothing out of games.

“That tonight can give us a lot of belief, a lot of confidence. But the challenge is, we have to do it every game.

“That’s the base because it hasn’t been the base for some games. That’s a choice that players have to make.

“I’m really pleased with what they’ve done tonight but I’m absolutely gutted for them that we haven’t got the rewards that we probably deserved.”

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