Morais remains positive with survival still in Barnsley's hands - Leeds United 2 Reds 1
There was more frustration for Barnsley boss Jose Morais as his side slumped to another defeat, this time at Paul Heckingbottom's Leeds.
The ex-Reds gaffer was the subject of some booing from the away support inside Elland Road after his controversial defection from Oakwell at the beginning of February.
Neither manager has enjoyed much success since, but it was Heckingbottom who won the day on Saturday as he secured just a third win in 14 games since taking over from Thomas Christiansen.
Morais still has just two wins to his name in 13 matches at the helm, but he tries to remain positive.
His side missed chances again at the weekend, and remain in the Sky Bet Championship drop zone.
Morais said: “It’s disappointing because it’s a result that should have been a different one.
“It’s a result that happened because we missed opportunities again. I would say to my players that I am behind everything they do, though.
“We all know what we have to do. This is just the way I feel and I won’t blame any one person for this.”
After a cagey opening spell, Leeds went in front after 17 minutes when youngster Tom Pearce fired in his first senior goal from 25 yards out.
Tom Bradshaw went close for the visitors, who eventually replied in the 36th minute when a whipped cross from Zeki Fryers was diverted past Leeds ‘keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell by Paudie O’Connor.
Ezgjan Alioski ultimately won the game shortly after the restart when he tapped home after being left with far too much space in the Reds box.
The visitors pushed on during the final half-hour, but Kieffer Moore headed inches wide from Adam Hammill’s cross, while Peacock-Farrell impressed as he kept out Brad Potts and Moore.
do or die now for Morais
IT’S clear that tomorrow’s game in hand away at Nottingham Forest is a ‘must-win’ for Barnsley. Win, and the Reds are out of the drop zone. The message couldn’t be much clearer for Reds boss Jose Morais.
He said: “My belief is that we have to win the next game. That is the game we have on the others.
“Winning at Nottingham Forest would mean we are in a good position, and we would be able to make the results on the teams in the direct fight.”
Get fired up for Forest
IT’S set to be tense in the away enclosure at the City Ground tomorrow night as Barnsley fans attempt to urge their players on to what would be a priceless victory at Nottingham Forest.
The hosts are safe so their players may well have one eye on the beach, but for the Reds, only a win will do as this is one of the final gilt-edged opportunities to drag themselves out of the Sky Bet Championship drop zone.
The Reds team - to a man - have to be fired up as never before this season.
Hauling themselves out of the bottom three at Bolton’s expense would offer such a shot in the arm ahead of the weekend’s home clash against a dangerous Brentford outfit who are still in with a shout of securing a shock play-off place.
Their fate in still in their own hands, so Barnsley’s squad need to grab this massive opportunity.