Barnsley FC's Michael Duff faces decision over whether to put in-form striker on disciplinary tightrope

Barnsley manager Michael Duff will consider whether to put in-form striker James Norwood on the bench at Exeter City tonight with a two-match ban looming if he is booked.

Tuesday's only League One game is the last where a Barnsley player can pick up a suspension for 10 yellow cards this season, and Norwood put himself in the firing line with his ninth in the 4-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday. He was also red carded in the Football League Trophy.

But there is plenty riding on the match at St James' Park, with the weekend results only emphasising the need to keep focused.

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It is a game in hand for the Reds, who can go level on points with (though almost certainly not above) Ipswich Town with victory, and move to within a win of Sheffield Wednesday, who are at Cheltenham Town on Wednesday.

Norwood scored against the Owls to continue his recent good form, but Max Watters and Slobodan Tedic have pushed their cases to play too recently.

“He plays with an edge and if he gets booked we just have to deal with the consequences," Duff said of Norwood. "I am sure it will be mentioned but I doubt he will think too much about it when the game starts.

“We will have to decide whether we take the risk. We will have a conversation about whether he starts or not but if he doesn’t start there’s a good chance he gets on.”

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The Owls, unbeaten in 23 games a week ago, lost 1-0 at bottom-of-the-table Forest Green Rovers on Sunday, the day after Exeter were 5-0 winners over Accrington Stanley.

ON THJE EDGE: Barnsley striker James Norwood (right)ON THJE EDGE: Barnsley striker James Norwood (right)
ON THJE EDGE: Barnsley striker James Norwood (right)

"It shows you you can't take anything for granted in this league," argued Duff.

"When you look at some of the results, Sunday's particularly, football has a funny habit of kicking you in the nether regions.

"We just need to keep focused on ourselves. Our sights haven't adjusted according to noise, the mantra's the same, the players have been good at that.

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"I watched Exeter win 5-0 at the weekend. The only points we've dropped in the last five or six games have been against the team lowest in the league, Bristol Rovers.

"The players should be fully aware they're going to need to hit similar levels."