Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael accepted the point as his team drew 0-0 with Wayne Rooney’s Derby at Oakwell.
The Tykes had gone into the game with a seven-match winning streak but had to settle for a share of the spoils which keeps them in the top six of the Sky Bet Championship.
Callum Britain had the first chance of the game but the Reds full-back fired over Kelle Roos’ crossbar with a quarter of an hour gone.
As Barnsley knocked on the door, Daryl Dike could only steer his header wide as he latched onto a Brittain cross with the first half drawing to a close.
Barnsley flew out of the blocks after the interval. Forcing Roos into a smart save with his feet, Conor Chaplin almost steered home as he connected with an Alex Mowatt cross and poked the ball goalbound from point-blank range.
Colin Kazim-Richards thought he had bagged an assist as he slipped in behind the Barnsley defence. He squared the ball across goal to Lee Gregory, but Brad Collins was quick to make the save as the game remained deadlocked.
Graeme Shinnie set his sights at goal from the edge of the area. He bent his effort onto the post but the ball failed to cross the line with 10 minutes left on the clock.
Ismael took positives from the game even if it was not his side’s best performance3.
He said: “It was a difficult game. Sometimes you have to accept the point and deal with it.
“It was a big surprise to see how Derby County played football. It is a compliment for the guys to see Derby completely changing the way they play.
“You have to fight, control the ball in behind and find a solution against sides like Derby.
“Tonight, we had to stay calm. We could have won in the second half through Conor Chaplin and we also could have lost twice.
“There was a feeling of more tiredness today. The front three players didn’t make their usual impact, but that’s sometimes how it is, and we have to accept that.
“It’s the Championship and you can’t win all of the games. You never know the difference a point could make come the end of the season.”
Derby boss Rooney admitted he had expected a tough contest.
He said: “I think that was the only game it was going to be. Barnsley don’t play pretty, but their football is effective.
“Of course, we want to play more football. We thought that the best way to come into the game tonight was to play Barnsley at their own game.
“We picked up second balls and third balls and we tried to be direct. I think Barnsley are possibly the most direct team I’ve ever seen.
“I felt that direct football was the best way to play to get something out of the game.
“We tried to pin Barnsley’s three centre-backs back.
“I’m not knocking Barnsley in any way. They are a very difficult team to play against.
“I’m pleased with the players after the last two games. They showed great character tonight.”