Michael Duff on events being under Barnsley FC's control at long last - and on losing his temper

AS WELL as Barnsley have done over the past six months, they have been acutely aware of events elsewhere in League One.

Whether that be results regarding play-off rivals and, for a time this spring, teams in automatic promotion contention.

The scenario is now straightforward for the Reds, who will turn over the page after Sunday's final game of the regular season against Peterborough United and then fully focus on the play-offs - where everything is straightforward.

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Head coach Michael Duff said: "All the backslapping can wait, it's irrelevant ultimately. The aim is now to try and get out of the league and we are now in control of our season.

Michael Duff. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.Michael Duff. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
Michael Duff. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

"Over the last six months when we have been on a brilliant run picking up lots of points, it's never been in our control.

"It is now because if we win our next (play-off) games, we will be promoted.

"We have been at it for ten months now and all this work is really for 20 minutes of a feeling in a dressing room and on a pitch somewhere, but it's something you can't buy and something we are working really hard to try and achieve."

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Despite Barnsley's outstanding form, it did not stop Duff losing his temper after last weekend's chaotic 4-4 draw at struggling MK Dons – after a much-changed side trailed 4-1 after 69 minutes in Buckinghamshire.

Shrewd observers would venture that it might not necessarily be a bad thing in terms of re-sharpening focus for what they hope will be a successful three-game season starting next week.

Duff continued: "They got told in no uncertain terms and it was probably the first time I lost my temper with them for a long, long time after the game. They knew it was not acceptable.

"But the positives are that we have not come back from a losing position from three goals behind (before). We did a few things differently and players impacted the game."

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Barnsley will play either Bolton or Derby in the play-off semi-finals, but cannot face Peterborough, who can finish no higher than sixth, with the Reds guaranteed to finish in fourth position, regardless of events on Sunday.