Tykes' chief upbeat as he prepares to add Morris to the ranks

Barnsley coach Valerien Ismael was proud of his side's efforts in a 1-0 Championship defeat at Norwich City

Barnsley coach Valerien Ismael was proud of his side's efforts in a 1-0 Championship defeat at Norwich City - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Belief was the only thing missing for Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael in a 1-0 Championship defeat at Norwich City. 

The Tykes’ chief had won 10 of his first 15 games in charge, but had to deal with the loss of four players pre-match due to coronavirus related issues, and then an inspirational match-winning intervention from Emi Buendia. 

The visitors spurned a huge chance to earn a point deep in stoppage time when Michal Helik's sliding attempt from close range veered wide of Tim Krul's far post.

“We have a good feeling that without key players and against the top team in the league we kept our level,” said Ismael. “We missed the last per cent and we have to improve for the next game but we are on a good way. 

“We are delighted with the performance from the guys over 90 minutes. In the first half, we played an excellent game with our pressing. We had a big opportunity to score with Luke Thomas and we have to be more clinical. When you play a top team, you cannot have five or 10 chances. You receive maybe two or three chances and you have to be clinical. 

"In the second half we didn't put enough pressure on the ball and Norwich played more direct. The goal was individual quality. Then we stayed in the game until the end but missed the lucky punch to score. 

“We need a little bit more belief to win such a top game and we have to do this for the next game against Swansea.” 

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Barnsley’s inspirational captain, Alex Mowatt, was a huge miss at Carrow Road after the former Leeds trainee tested positive for the virus in the build up. Ismael is hopeful he can return for the Swans’ visit following this weekend’s FA Cup tie against Tranmere. 

By then, Norwich striker Carlton Morris is expected to have signed for the Reds. The clubs have agreed a fee and Morris will complete the formalities in the coming days to confirm his Carrow Road exit. 

“I hope that, in the middle of the week, we have some good news on signings,” said Ismael. “I am staying calm because with Covid, and with medicals, we have to wait until everything is signed. We also hope that two or three players maybe can come back to training if we have negative tests.” 

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