Barnsley 'wrote down' Sheffield Wednesday age difference as big motivation – Michael Duff gives Owls prediction

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Barnsley’s coaching staff wrote down the ages of the Sheffield Wednesday squad and presented them to their players as motivation ahead of the Owls’ first defeat in half a season.

That’s according to Tykes boss Michael Duff, who was speaking after making five substitutions in a thrilling cat-and-mouse clash at Oakwell.

Energy from the bench made a difference in the latter stages of the game, he suggested, hinting at the age of Wednesday’s experienced squad.

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“We wrote up the age of their players and the age of our players before the game,” he said. “We’ve made five subs a lot and getting injuries back, recruiting well in terms of adding numbers.”

Barnsley manager Michael Duff was delighted to beat Sheffield Wednesday.Barnsley manager Michael Duff was delighted to beat Sheffield Wednesday.
Barnsley manager Michael Duff was delighted to beat Sheffield Wednesday.

Barnsley raced into an early 2-0 lead – a concession Owls boss Darren Moore said was ‘self-inflicted’ – before Wednesday pegged them back. Two late goals saw the home side record a sixth straight win.

“We did every part of the game well against a really tough team,” said a triumphant Duff.

“They stopped trying to play through us and just kept putting it in our box, which is tough because they've got some good players and some big lads. We just wanted to get them in at half-time because I thought the first goal was a poor goal to give away.

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“We just wanted to show them they weren't going to be able to defend their way through the next 50 minutes or whatever it was.

“We didn't quite get what we wanted, we flipped formation and they kept putting it in the box and it was difficult to deal with.

“But the one thing we did believe and we talked about it a lot before the game was the last 20 minutes we'd get chances, just because of the age of our team and the energy we've got, the youthfulness of it.”

Asked how Wednesday will respond to the sickening defeat, Duff responded with little doubt.

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“I'm pretty certain they'll respond the right way. They were 23 games unbeaten, I'm sure Mooro will just park it up and move on to the next one when you look at the squad they've got and the players they've got.”