Former Claret Micky Mellon felt his Barnsley side lost the battle at Turf Moor as they went down 1-0 against Burnley.
Mellon, who helped Burnley win promotion to the second tier in 2000, scoring in the 2-1 win at Scunthorpe United that sealed runners-up spot in the Second Division, took caretaker charge of the Tykes after the sacking of David Flitcroft.
And he led Barnsley to a superb win at Brighton in midweek, their first win away from home all season.
But they couldn’t repeat the trick at Burnley, despite enjoying more possession, as they failed to make their first half openings count, with Paddy McCourt bossing proceedings.
Michael Kightly’s glorious strike 25 minutes from time settled the issue, and sent Burnley back to the top of the Championship, and Mellon said: “Obviously I’m disappointed.
“We missed that clinical finish that’s needed to get that first goal.
“I couldn’t fault their effort, they gave me everything they have.
“We got an awful lot right in the first half, but I think from the 55th minute to the 65th minute, we didn’t win those second balls.
“I think in those 10 minutes, we didn’t roll our sleeves up and weren’t ready for the battle.
“In that 10-minute spell we lost the game.”
Barnsley were easy on the eye, but were powderpuff in front of goal, and Mellon added: “If anyone came here today, they wouldn’t have said there was anything between the two sides.
“If anything, maybe we had the better footballers.
“We have to be more clinical and more aggressive in that final third.
“There’s an awful lot to be pleased about and we’ll get better.
“In this situation we’re in, some might say we’d have to battle our way out of it.
“But we just need to take our chances.
“We never took them today, hence the result.”