Barnsley 1 - West Bromwich Albion 1
Another disappointment performance although a little perspective is required - breaking records with our unbeaten run, not won at Barnsley for years, players rested and rotated for Xmas and we’re still top with a big cushion.
I thought the changes were understandable and we set up not to get beat.
I thought our biggest problem in both halves was a severe lack of pace in attacking areas. In the opening 30 minutes Pereira was on a different planet to everyone else, especially in those conditions but having taken players out of the game he had nothing to hit - time and again we had to wait for our fullbacks to bomb up to get pace or width, and when they did arrive it was too late.
In other spells it was exactly the same with HRK, who’d do brilliantly to hold it, dart past a man but then run out of support or come backwards.
Barnsley exploited what is becoming our weakness - playing high wingers to try and pin our fullbacks back, dropping a man in the hole in front of our CBs and then doing pass and run moves through us because Sawyers and Pereira don’t track. It worked and but for SJ we’d have been a couple of goals down.
It looked like we’d undeservedly nicked the points but at the death Sawyers neither sprinted to block the cross or tracked the runner off him that it went to and Barnsley got the point they deserved.
I have to say I was disappointed that when Krovinovic went off we didn’t give Edwards or Phillips 20 instead of Barry. By then our lack of pace was a real problem - we had no problem breaking out and creating decent situations but we didn’t have anyone who could win that 10 yard sprint in their 3rd. I thought Barry’s involvement was too negative - it’s not like it was nil nil and we were clinging on.
Hopefully we’ll go and get 6 points in our next 2 games and vindicate Bilic.
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