Chelsea display 'unnerves' Barnsley manager Davey

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Barnsley manager Simon Davey emerged from Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night feeling "unnerved" after witnessing Chelsea overwhelm Olympiakos in the Champions League.

Davey chose to watch Saturday's FA Cup sixth-round opponents in the flesh as Avram Grant's side took on the Greeks for a place in the last eight. It was an eye-opening experience for Davey, who has the unenviable task of trying to stop a team that has suffered three defeats in 37 matches since Grant took charge, losing only to Manchester United, Arsenal and Spurs.

"I did have a plan, but then I went to watch them, and now I'm not sure," said Davey. "It was certainly an experience. It's all very well watching them on the telly, but I felt it was important I saw them up close, and I was quite unnerved.

"When you see them on telly, you don't see the big picture. Their movement and pace at which they pass the ball is on a different planet. I have to admit it caught me by surprise. Their awareness, touch is amazing. Every decision they make is the right one.

"When you are in the Championship, League One and League Two, you have good players, but their decisions at times are not like those that Premier League players make.

"In the end they played Olympiakos off the park. They went there a Champions League team, and yet it was men versus boys.

"I'm sure we can give them a better game. Hopefully we don't catch Chelsea like I saw them last night, and they catch us on one of our good days.

"If that happens the margin between us will be a little smaller, and maybe we can get the result we need."

The Tykes have already upset the odds once this season with their 2-1 win at Liverpool three weeks ago.

Although Barnsley have not won their four Championship games since that historic day, Davey sees no reason why his side cannot pull another rabbit out of the hat, insisting: "Anything's possible. Nobody gave us a chance when we went to Anfield. Even ourselves, the management staff, were just hoping to be at 110 per cent and maybe catch Liverpool on an off-day.

"We went there, enjoyed the day and we came away with the right result and that's because there's a belief amongst my players we can win any game.

"There is also no fear factor. There was no fear at Anfield, and I'm sure there were will be no fear on Saturday. When they step out in front of the Oakwell crowd, I'm sure their chests will be out and they'll put in a performance that will make everybody proud – and if that takes us to a win, then so be it."