Ismael's comments arrived after his Reds side were thwarted in their quest for an eighth second-tier win at this level by a Derby County side who totally changed their tactics and went 'like for like' in a bid to combat Barnsley's direct pressing style.
Derby's methods proved a success as they took home a valuable point away from Oakwell in a 0-0 stalemate and became the first side to take something against sixth-placed Barnsley fore the first time since the end of January.
Despite the draw, Barnsley still boast a two-point advantage over the side just outside of the play-offs in Bournemouth, who they visit on Saturday in a 'six-pointer.'
Ismael, whose side extended their unbeaten league sequence to ten matches, said: ""The opponents who play against us change their formation and way to play football and after (they) try to find some excuse to either say it is the pitch or Barnsley...
"Say after you wanted to play like this and respect Barnsley at pressing. That is the truth and not something disrespectful to us.
"To play like that is a compliment for our guys to see a team like Derby County who went for the play-offs before this season come here and completely change their way to play football.
"Previously, with (last opponents) Birmingham, I heard a lot about the situation, but did not comment and just kept focused. But this was a big surprise to see how Derby played football. Normally it is a possession-based team.
"They changed their way to play. But do not say after it was because of the pitch or Barnsley or something like that. Say you wanted to play like this to respect Barnsley at pressing at it is okay. This is the truth."
Commenting on the draw, the Frenchman added: "We could win this game with Conor Chaplin's chance and could lose the game in two situations and that is why is was important to take a clean sheet and take a point. You never know at the end how good it is (at the end of the season)."
Offering his take on the hosts' style, Rams boss Wayne Rooney, who admitted he has never faced in a side in his footballing career who have played like Barnsley, said: "That was the only game it was going to be. The way Barnsley play, that is the only way they play.
"It is not pretty, but it has been effective for them this season. Of course, we want to play more football, but we felt the best way to come in was play Barnsley at their own game and pick up second and third balls and be more direct because Barnsley are possibly the most direct team I have ever seen.
"In fairness, we were (direct) and it was the best way to play to get something out of the game.
"I am not knocking Barnsley in any way. They are having a fantastic season and doing what they need to do to pick up points. They are a very difficult team to play and we had to match that up tonight and get in their faces and almost go man to man and make it individual battles all over the pitch."