ALAN STUBBS’S advice to his Rotherham United players to keep their cool amid the derby cauldron today is sage.
In this fixture, it has special resonance, with the Millers seeing three players sent off on their last Oakwell visit in 2005.
Stubbs can also draw upon vast experience, having played in some high-voltage affairs, including the Old Firm duel and Merseyside and Tyne-Wear derbies.
Extolling the virtues of calm, he said: “It is a derby and will be feisty and played at a high tempo Emotions will be running high.
“You have to make sure that you control them, but still carry out your game plan.
“You cannot get wrapped up in the emotions of a local derby. It is cool heads and if you do that, it will give you a better chance of winning the game.”
From his local vantage point, Stubbs has been impressed by the Reds’ acclimatisation to Championship life, with the club’s big-game players during their inexorable rise last season having stepped up impressively amid their new surroundings.
This said, he believes that Barnsley’s points tally could have been higher, like his own side’s, with his quest being to put a spanner in the works today.
He continued: “The biggest thing is that when you come up, sometimes if you have got players who are able to adapt and play in this division, it means you do not have to make a lot of changes and Paul (Heckingbottom, Barnsley manager) has obviously felt that and rightly so.
“You can see from their start, Paul will be happy. He might be thinking they should have a couple more points on the board, but that is what this division is.
“Whereas last season they might have got away with a couple of mistakes, this year in this division, more often than not, you will get punished.”