Mark Hughes was decidedly upbeat about what he saw at Oakwell.
The Blues had more than 30 attempts on the Barnsley’s goal in an easy on the eye contest but had to wait until Martin Petrov’s late strike to find the back of the net and force a draw.
Nevertheless it was another important step on the road to full fitness and Kolo Toure made his debut and plenty of friends before limping off with nothing more serious than cramp.
“We played some good stuff and in the second half I thought our interplay was excellent,” declared the manager.
“The final ball was lacking on occasions but we created enough chances to have won quite comfortably. The finishing will come as we get nearer the start of the season. It is just a matter of the timing being off here and there.
“Overall I was pleased with the test and both teams benefitted from the run out. It will have brought us on a lot. On another day we would have won quite comfortably.
I am happy with what I am seeing. It was good for Kolo (Toure) to get his debut behind him. He gives us comfort on the ball and his ability with it at his feet was there for everyone to see.
“Once he starts to understand those in front of him and the qualities they have and the best way to bring out those qualities the bigger the impact he will have. I was pleased with his debut and he came off early because of a bit of cramp. He has integrated well into the dressing room. He is a great guy and we are delighted to have him at the club.”
The manager was without a whole host of big names for the trip to Yorkshire. Carlos Tevez, Roque Santa Cruz, Richard Dunne, Gareth Barry, Vincent Kompany and Wayne Bridge were all forced to sit it out for one reason or another.
“There are a few bumps and bruises but nothing serious,” reckoned Hughes. “Gareth will hopefully be fit for Wednesday at Rangers and the same for Wayne. Hopefully we will have Carlos for the Celtic game but we will not be risking him too soon.”
The manager also admitted that the Blues are eyeing a possible bid for Leeds teenager Fabian Delph.
“We have an interest in the situation at Leeds with Fabian Delph. He is a young player who has been brought to our attention,” he replied when asked whether or not the club had made a bid.