21 March 2023

Michael Duff hails Barnsley’s ‘excellent’ win over rivals Sheffield Wednesday

21 March 2023

Manager Michael Duff hailed Barnsley’s “excellent” 4-2 League One victory over South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday, which strengthened their promotion bid and ended their opponents’ 23-match unbeaten league run.

The home side went 2-0 up early on following goals from Devante Cole and James Norwood. Two goals from Lee Gregory made it all-square before late strikes from Max Watters and Liam Kitching sealed victory for Barnsley.

Duff said: “I thought it was excellent – not loads of quality on show but a proper local derby. Both teams absolutely going at it with no quarter given.

“We started really well. Sheffield Wednesday wanted to play and pass and we managed to keep pinching it. Then after that, they go the other way. They go route one and we had to deal with it.

“We probably didn’t deal with it quite well enough because they got back to 2-2 but we always believed that we’d get something in the last 20 minutes of the game, based on our youthfulness and energy.

“We thought we’d get opportunities but didn’t know we were going to score two.

“There was always that belief within because they were asking lots and lots of questions.

“Going 2-0 up so early, we almost went into protection mode, which is obviously the worst thing you can do, but it’s a natural thing to do.

“I said to them at half-time, ‘there’s no way you’re going to defend your way for the whole second half and not concede’.

“There’s lots and lots and lots of positives because they’re 23 games unbeaten and that’s an unbelievable achievement.”

Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore felt that his players were the architects of their own downfall.

He said: “I don’t want to take anything away from Barnsley – credit to them – but it’s self-inflicted with the goals we’ve given away today. That’s uncharacteristic of us in terms of the goals because we’ve been mean defensively.

“To give them the first two goals in the manner that we gave them was really disappointing. Credit to the boys, after 20 minutes they regained control of the game and we had momentum from 20 minutes onwards.

“We went into half-time ultra-confident because we had momentum in the game and we were back into it.

“They were on the back foot, we got the second goal and we were looking to win the game.

“For them to score their goal, it clearly came against the run of play.

“We take the rough with the smooth and it’s also about responding and getting right for Sunday.

“To not get something out of the game is disappointing. We’ve got to dust ourselves down as there’s a lot of football to play.”

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