Barnsley FC head coach Valerien Ismael issues a warning

BARNSLEY head coach Valerien Ismael has issued a warning to his side ahead of back-to-back assignments against Wycombe and Sheffield Wednesday.

The Reds head to Buckinghamshire on Wednesday night to face the bottom-placed Chairboys on the back of a tremendous victory at Championship promotion rivals Bournemouth.

The win was Barnsley’s eighth in nine matches and extended their unbeaten run to 12 league games ahead of meetings against relegation-threatened Wycombe and the Owls, who are fighting for their lives at the opposite end of the table.

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And Ismael, who lambasted his side at half-time at Bournemouth after they trailed 2-1 ahead of their fine second-half response, is reading nothing into the lowly status of the club’s next two opponents before they sign off for the international break.

Valerien Ismael.

He said: “You must have the mindset. For me, it was good to see what happened at Bournemouth (in the first half).

“If you are not 100 per cent or think you are over the line or it will be easier, it will be finished straight after and then you have to waste all your intensity and mentality and you must stay that way.

“The second half at Bournemouth was ‘us’ and our way and this is how we have to play all the time from the first minute to the last.

“You have to show this (mentality) all the time on the pitch and not just talking. It has been brilliant so far. But we are not over the line. Finish the job and this is our mentality now.

“We have to start from the second half at Bournemouth with the same mentality from the first minute until the end. This is my expectation from the guys, to start the game at the right time and not after the first half.

“We have our own expectations and we don’t need expectations from anybody (else). We have the expectations to continue to go forward and we want to keep momentum going and we need to show a desire against Wycombe to take the fight from the first minute and show a desire to get the three points. We need to sustain the effort as we work in that way.

“Don’t be satisfied about the run, it is a nice trip, but keep going and stay hungry.”

Barnsley face a Wycombe side who outfought and outworked Preston on Saturday as they ended a run of four straight losses with a precious three points and Ismael is quick to pinpoint their chief danger.

He said: “Their strengths are their mentality. It is a team with a big mentality and the manager shows that ‘never-give-up mentality with a positive attitude and they will fight all the game and it will be a very difficult game.

“You have to stay focused, prepare and adapt. Our job as staff is to prepare the guys mentally and with a game plan which we have to do to win the game.”