Chesterfield v Barnsley reaction: We need to grow up, admits Lee Johnson, as Sylvan Ebanks-Blake nets debut goal

Lee Johnson couldn't bear to watch as his side lost at the Proact

Lee Johnson couldn't bear to watch as his side lost at the Proact

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Reds boss Lee Johnson admits his Barnsley babes must learn to cope with the demands of League One football.

A young Barnsley side lost 3-1 at Chesterfield on Saturday, despite taking an early lead, and Johnson said: “I was disappointed.

“Our players have to grow up very quickly.

“This is a good league, full of physicality and know-how, and it did flick back into my mind that ‘you can’t win anything with kids’.

So hopefully that’s the day we had; Man United at Villa all those years ago.

“But we’ve certainly got some improvements to make.”

The Reds boss added: “I thought we started well and looked slick on the counter-attack but we got pegged back then and once we got pegged back, a few went down like dominoes.

“Our back three were superb to keep them out in the first half and we got luck a couple of times.

“We could have had a couple ourselves on the break through good, swift counters but obviously not enough and over the course of 90 minutes we did look like we capitulated and three or four went under.”

Dean Saunders, after watching striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake get of the mark on his debut, was understandably more upbeat.

“I’m pleased that Sylvan’s got off the mark,” the Spireites boss said.

“He’s obviously a goal scorer, Jay and Sam’s goals were great and we could have got more as we ran out comfortable winners in the end.

“But I’m not getting carried away with the whole thing, we’ve played well but it was only the first game.

“I was speaking to Lee Johnson before the game and he said ‘Barnsley could win 3-0 or lose 3-0’ and I felt the same. We were on the button, we lost an early goal but then showed the character to put it behind them and come back.

“I was really pleased with the performance.”