Football: Wilson brassed off with Barnsley

Leeds United 2 Barnsley 1

IT HAD been a bad eight days for Barnsley. Late goals had cost them points against against Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers and Leeds United and Danny Wilson had reason to curse King Lear-like at fate. Except the Barnsley manager was fed up with bad luck stories.

He was angry, only the target of his ire was his players. For the first time this season he did not buy the "plucky" label attached to his team. Lucky not to have conceded more goals maybe, but plucky, absolutely not. "We didn't deserve to get anything today," he said. "If we'd been five or six down out at half-time we couldn't have complained."

Had the players said anything? "They didn't get much chance to," he replied, hinting that the wall of expletives had been too high for protests to get over. "Amiable Danny" had turned into "Brassed Off of Barnsley".

With good reason. Through thin and thin Barnsley's players have fought like fury to overturn the expectation that they are heading back to the First Division. Limited they may be, but they would run through brick to preserve their cherished Premiership place. On Saturday, with Jovo Bosancic an honourable and tireless exception, it is debatable whether tissue paper would have been too thick.

Leeds played well, as Wilson conceded, but his careworn and battle-fatigued team had allowed them to shine. The only surprise had been that it had required a bullet-like header from Adie Moses into his own net for the home side to win.

Until then Leeds, whose plane made an emergency landing on Monday at Stansted Airport, appeared to have acquired a taste for near misses because Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink should have had a hat-trick, never mind his 21st- minute opening goal, while his strike partner, Harry Kewell, was denied by several excellent saves by Dave Watson.

Why had Barnsley been so poor? "We went into the game with a dozy attitude," Wilson said, "and if you're going to get anything out of a game you have to show some sort of commitment. Whether we have been believing the press - that everyone wants to keep us up and goodwill will pull us through - I don't know, but today should have opened our eyes.

"Now's the time we need that commitment because nobody is going to present us with wins. We have to fight for what we get. Results have been fairly kind to us today, nobody has cut us adrift, but we can't forever keep on thinking someone will do us a favour. We have got to start making sure we get points ourselves."

That would be easier if Barnsley could keep all 11 players on the pitch. The previous Saturday they had been incredulous that three players had been sent off against Liverpool and they were similarly amazed that Georgi Hristov should get a red card in injury time. Only this time they wondered how their Macedonian striker had been so dim.

To get booked for abusing a linesman is stupid enough, but Hristov compounded that by throwing in another swearword too many and converted yellow into red. For a man who has problems having himself understood in English it was a remarkable achievement. Perhaps he compared the official to the women of Barnsley, who he has famously derided in the past.

He left he field his head bowed as if in anticipation of having it chewed off by his manager. It probably was and deservedly so.

Wilson has ample striking cover but, after such a weary performance, it is difficult to be optimistic. As Hristov trudged off the pitch it was hard not to visualise Barnsley's survival hopes going hand in hand with him. The season's fairy-tale might not have a happy ending.

Goals: Hasselbaink (20) 1-0; Hristov (43) 1-1; Moses og (80) 2-1.

Leeds United (3-5-2): Martyn; Wetherall, Hiden, Molenaar; Kelly, Halle, Bowyer, Ribeiro (McPhail, h-t), Harte; Hasselbaink, Kewell. Substitutes not used: Hopkin, Lilley, Jackson, Beeney (gk).

Barnsley (3-5-2): Watson; Morgan, Moses, Jones (Fjortoft, 81); Eaden, Redfearn, Bullock (Marcelle, 78), Bosancic, Barnard; Hristov, Ward. Substitutes not used: Sheridan, De Zeeuw, Leese (gk).

Referee: K Burge (Tonypandy).

Sending off: Barnsley: Hristov.

Booking: Barnsley: Redfearn.

Man of the match: Bosancic.

Attendance: 37,749.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

The Grange Retirement Home: Full Time Care Team Manager

£22,400: The Grange Retirement Home: This is a key role which requires a sound...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

£30 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software / Web Developer (PHP / MYSQL) i...

Guru Careers: Account Executive

£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive is needed to join one...

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada