After the final whistle blew on Barnsley 0 Newcastle 2, home boss Paul Heckingbottom reckoned that ‘on another day’ his team might have got at least a point.
Any neutral who happened to watch the game will though surely tell you that it would have been a travesty if Newcastle United hadn’t won it.
The visitors dominated the game from end to end and whilst Heckingbottom might want to kid himself that ‘two lapses of concentration’ cost Barnsley the match, they were simply two of the numerous second half chances that Newcastle finished.
Dwight Gayle scored his tenth and eleventh goals of the season and made it four in as many days.
Paul Heckingbottom claims that Barnsley were prepared for the threat the Newcastle striker posed…only for those lapses of concentration.
The Barnsley boss remembers actually playing against Gayle in the final days of his own playing career.
As a sign of just how far Dwight Gayle has come, four years ago he was playing in the Conference North for Bishop’s Stortford and when he came up against Heckingbottom he scored two that day as well.
A bit like Alan Hansen used to be on Match of the Day, when he gave no credit to the goalscorer and a goal was always the fault of whoever was defending.
Gayle’s first goal last night may simply have come about because of Newcastle pressure and perseverance but certainly the second goal had all the right ingredients. A brilliant Ritchie through ball and great pace and finishing ability from Dwight Gayle – that was down to quality rather than any lapse of concentration.
“I remember playing against Dwight Gayle when he was at Bishop’s Stortford, I was either playing centre-back or left-back against him and he scored two goals then.
“We were prepared for that, two lapses in concentration have cost us the game and that’s the difference, they gave us absolutely nothing all game.
“We worked our socks off and went toe-to-toe with the top of the league, we were grafting and working for absolutely everything that we could but they gave us nothing.
“They were having to do the same but the two goals were lapses in concentration on our part.
“We know we can win in this league and that’s the realisation and what we have to take on board and rise to that challenge.
“They’ve got quality all over and made three changes, took three really good players out and brought three really good players in.
“That’s the situation but it doesn’t mean that we cannot compete just like tonight and on another day we could have got something.”