Simpson praises tough Tykes
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Paul Simpson was quick to credit ten-man Barnsley after Preston's 1-0 win.
Preston North End boss Paul Simpson was quick to credit Barnsley after watching his side grind out a 1-0 win at Deepdale that takes them to third in The Championship.
Patrick Agyemang's first half strike was enough to seal all three points after the early dismissal of Tykes keeper Nick Colgan, but the visitors fought their corner and could have snatched a draw in the second period.
Whilst Simpson was delighted with the three points that took his side to a lofty position in the league, the North End boss was also full of praise for Andy Ritchie's Barnsley as he pondered a muted display from his troops in the closing stages.
"It was very frustrating," Simpson told Sky Sports News.
"I think you have to give credit to Barnsley. They came and even though they had their goalkeeper sent off, I felt they kept working and made it very difficult for us.
"But I've said to the players in there the performance wasn't right tonight.
"I'm absolutely delighted with the win, don't get me wrong, and we have to be picky about a few things because we did make it difficult for ourselves.
"But it is a good win for us, I'm delighted we are in a nice position in the table and we move onto the next one.
"I just think second half we were a bit slow in possession, we didn't move the ball quick enough.
"We were frustrated, there were people frustrated there as we were coming off the pitch, the supporters, but we are third in the table.
"We have had another home win, I think that's seven unbeaten now, and we have got to be happy with that."
However Simpson warned his side against complacency as they aim to keep up their promotion challenge over the course of the season.
"We've got to make sure we keep our heads, don't get carried away, not get silly like a few people were shouting as we came off the pitch and just keep plugging away."
Tykes boss Ritchie was convinced his troops deserved something out of the clash after fighting bravely following the early dismissal of Colgan for a handball outside the box.
"I think we deserved something out of tonight. I thought second half we were certainly the better side," Ritchie insisted.
"I didn't think we got any help from the referee but the lads were magnificent.
"I'm so proud of them, to put on a display like that, we will not have any problems if we play like that with a grit and determination, they were magnificent."
Despite his qualms with the performance of referee Richard Beeby, Ritchie had no complaints about Colgan's dismissal.
"The referee got the sending off right. Nick had no qualms about it, he said he caught it with his hand and it was the reaction of a goalkeeper," Ritchie continued.
"It's one of those sendings off you can stomach because they didn't score off it."
Ritchie also defended rookie keeper Vito Mannone who replaced Colgan only to gift Preston a goal by punching a cross straight into Agyemang's face.
"Vito did okay. He'll be all right and it was just unfortunate.
"He got there first and it cannoned off the lad's head and he didn't know anything about it and it ended up in the back of the net."