Hill holds Davies hopes

Tykes boss has big plans for goal-hero Davies

Keith Hill: Off to a winning start in the Championship

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Barnsley manager Keith Hill hopes a change of approach this season can get the best out of Craig Davies after the forward's winner against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Davies struck in first-half injury-time after good build-up between Barnsley skipper David Perkins and Tomasz Cywka and, though he should have doubled the lead early in the second half, Hill was delighted with a 1-0 win and the performance of his frontman.

He said: "Craig needs to play off someone and if he does that this season he will score goals. Last season he was a target man and he's not a target man, and last season he was a manager's nightmare.

"Perkins made the right decision to play the ball to Davies because he had the opportunity to score.

"Davies made the keeper work with all his efforts. The keeper made some excellent saves from him to deny him a hat-trick."

Hill added: "The performance merited the result. We had opportunities to score more goals on the counter-attack.

"I am over the moon with the players' efforts and their pace. I thought our keeper (David Gonzalez) was excellent on his debut. I would have been disappointed if we had lost that game.

"I expected Middlesbrough to give a bit more than they did. I think they are short of a target man, but they moved the ball around in the right areas. I still believe that they one of the favourites to get a play-off place."

Boro reaction

The visitors should have equalised eight minutes from time when the ball fell to Emanuel Ledesma only four yards out but he could not get any power behind his effort and Gonzalez saved.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray said: "We didn't perform today as we have in the pre-season games.

"Full credit to Barnsley, they made it very difficult for us. I am disappointed with the result but I know we will get better.

"Today is a frustrating day for us. We lost possession 20 yards from the goal and they worked the extra man well. I am not one of those guys who will pick holes in his team because they have conceded a goal.

"When they scored they sat back, let us come at them and then counter-attacked. It's back to the drawing board but we will recover from this defeat."