Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday separated by 15 miles, 18 places and 35 points, but chasm is even greater

LESS than 15 miles separates Oakwell and Hillsborough, but the direction of travel between Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday is far greater.

While Valerien Ismael’s Reds side are in the promotion mix – however much they try and downplay it – after a superb run of nine victories in 10 Championship matches, Darren Moore’s Owls are down among the dead men following seven defeats in eight winless games.

The gap in the table between these near-neighbours, who meet at Oakwell today, is 18 places and 35 points, but for many the chasm between the coherent approach in structure, recruitment and playing style at Barnsley and the perceived short-termism at Wednesday is more significant.

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Moore has too much on his plate to speak about anything beyond the next 10 games, but as blueprints go, he has been impressed by the model operated by one of his former clubs.

Yorkshire rivals Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday. Picture: Steve Ellis

The Owls chief said: “In terms of the success they have had this season, from where they were at last year and how they have built the model, you can look at that as a blueprint for a lot of clubs.

“They have got their own style and philosophy of recruitment in terms of where they are going and it is working for them and it has put them in a position where they feel they want to be in the shake-up this season in terms of getting to the Premier League.

“Credit to the work that has gone in there, but for me, it is about us here at Wednesday and we have our own agenda.”

A victory today would guild another fine month for Barnsley and secure a first double over the Owls since 2008-09 and a first win against their rivals at Oakwell in seven matches.

Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael (Picture: PA)

Ever consistent in his mantra, Reds head coach Ismael said: “It is our last performance before the (international) break and we made an incredible commitment and all our focus is having the right mentality to attack this game.”

Barnsley captain Alex Mowatt is available after the club won their appeal against his red card in Wednesday evening’s 3-1 triumph at Wycombe.

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Owls manager Darren Moore. (Picture: Steve Ellis)