Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael not concerned whether Chelsea or Luton await

The Tykes are through to face the winners of Sunday lunchtime’s FA Cup fourth-round tie.

By Press Association Published: 23 January 2021 - 6.35pm

Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael said he did not care if his side play Chelsea or Luton in the FA Cup fifth round.

Ismael’s side booked a potential home tie against Chelsea after knocking out Sky Bet Championship leaders Norwich thanks to Callum Styles’ solitary second-half goal at Oakwell.

Barnsley famously toppled Chelsea in 2008 on their way to the semi-finals but Ismael refused to get excited at the prospect of a repeat.

“We’ll see. I’m just happy that we play at home,” the Frenchman said. “Chelsea or Luton. The FA Cup is a tight competition. It’s always a 50/50 situation.

“The good thing is tomorrow we can sit on the couch and enjoy the game.”

Barnsley were good value for their win, with Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul doing his best to keep them at bay in the first half with a string of fine saves.

The Dutchman was finally beaten in the 55th minute when man of the match Styles pounced on a loose ball in the area before burying a low finish into the bottom corner.

“I’m delighted he’s back from a bit of a slip (in form) the last few weeks,” Ismael said of his midfielder, who also produced a last-gasp block to keep out Emi Buendia’s shot from in front of goal.

“He played today at his level and he has to stay that way. He’s a young player with a big talent, but he has to stay at that level. This is the big thing.

“I think today was a step in the right direction for Callum.”

Barnsley’s climb up the Championship table under Ismael has been checked by successive narrow defeats to the top three sides.

“We knew that we are near, we are close to beating a top team and now we made the next step up,” the former Crystal Palace defender added.

“I have to say it was one of the best performances because we were stable and we controlled a lot of situations and created a lot of chances.”

Norwich, seven points clear at the top of the Championship after their midweek home win against Bristol City, fell short in South Yorkshire.

“It was definitely not our best performance,” said manager Daniel Farke. “Congratulations to Barnsley. They deserved to win this game and we have to accept this.

“Of course Barnsley away is a difficult game anyway, but we had to rotate a bit more and give some players game time. I don’t want to criticise my team too much.”

Injury to striker Jordan Hugill compounded a miserable afternoon for the Canaries.

Hugill was forced off with a hamstring injury and joins fellow striker Teemu Pukki in the treatment room.

“We expect him (Hugill) to be out for a while. He went for a sprint and felt his hamstring,” Farke added.

“We must wait for the diagnosis on Jordan. But it looks likely he will miss a few games.”

BT Sport Monthly Pass

Join the home of live sport for just £25 per month. Get instant access to the BT Sport app, with no contract and no BT broadband required.