During his playing days, the Barnsley head coach was part of squads who pushed each other relentlessly at this time of year and did not rest on their laurels.
Ismael was at Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich when they won the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal in 2003-04 and 2005-06.
Being part of the winning culture at Germany’s serial trophy winners in Bayern had a particular impact upon Ismael.
Claiming titles is a non-negotiable at the Bavarian giants and while the mindset is not quite the same at Oakwell, Ismael is liking what he is seeing from his side, who are on a historic six-match winning run, but still want more .
Ismael’s side have propelled themselves into the play-off mix in single-minded fashion.
Now is not the time to let up, but get even stronger and be ruthless in their quest for more.
Ismael said: “It is the business time and ‘money time’ now.
“It is all about getting the job done and each club showing a purpose.
“We have achieved the first one (aim) in staying in this league really, really quickly. Now, we are in a position where it is all about staying focused and concentrated and trying to get as many points as possible by the end of March.
“Our next chance is against Birmingham and this is our focus and the mindset from the guys is exactly the same now.
“In the Championship, everything goes really quickly and you must stay in the run. It has been hard work to get to where we are, but we don’t want to give it away easily and we will fight until the end to keep moving.”
Ismael also has a firm message to the club’s Championship rivals, namely that his side will not be changing their high-energy, relentless ‘pressing’ philosophy for anyone and is not losing sleep regarding others potentially combating it.
He remarked: “With our philosophy, you can take it or leave it. You can love it or you can hate it.
“But we stay true to ourselves and we have our identity and way to play football.”
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