Whacks in the nose are part and parcel of Peter Clarke’s work – but the skipper can’t have been expecting to reprise an old role at Oakwell.
The experienced centre-half found himself at right-back for a phase of the second half as Town manager Mark Robins went from 3-5-2 to 4-3-3 in the bid for a fightback after his side were left trailing to first-half goals by Chris O’Grady and Marcus Pedersen.
The move came after James Vaughan had pulled one back with his eighth goal of the season, and Clarke explained: “The manager wants us to be fluid and adaptable in terms of changing shape without necessarily changing personnel.
“I was asked to go to right-back, and I was happy to comply.
“It’s not completely alien to me, because I made my debut for Everton (against Coventry in 2001) there and stayed in that position for a spell.
“Joel Lynch has sometimes switched to left-back for us, and the general principles of tackling and covering don’t alter.”
Clarke needed treatment less than a minute into the derby after a collision with Marcus Pedersen, who scored Barnsley’s second.
“I was guiding a header back to Alex Smithies, so I had my eyes on the ball, and for want of a better expression, took a real whack,” said the 31-year-old. “It was an accident, but it still hurt.”
Clarke felt that Town, now 12th in the Championship, did enough to merit an equaliser.
“We started too slowly, but I felt that as the first half wore on, we were getting back into the game, even at two down,” he added.
“We were far better in second half, and although we scored early enough, we just couldn’t find that second goal, which was frustrating.
“That’s five down, and we have two wins, two defeats and a draw.
“With the tough start we had against Nottingham Forest and QPR, two teams tipped to be in the promotion shake-up, then a trip to Millwall, which is never easy, we can be relatively happy with our start overall, but there’s plenty of work to do.”