Rotherham United boss Paul Warne on 'brilliant' Barnsley FC

SEPARATED by less than 15 miles across the Dearne Valley, Rotherham United and Barnsley are fighting it out for totally contrasting aims in the final month and a half of another eventful Championship season.

Paul Warne.

For Millers chief Paul Warne his admiration for what Barnsley have achieved towards the top end of the table is understandable given the fact that his own Millers side, in their own way, are battling against many former top-flight regulars in their particular quest of survival and bid to upset the odds.

Some opposing managers and players have chosen to unfairly deride Barnsley’s style.

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Not Warne, who respects their high-energy and aggressive style of play and relentless pressing game, which is similar in many respects to his own ethos.

He has been mightily impressed by the Millers’ near-neighbours' style, even if naturally he will not want to particularly witness it in all it’s glory when his side visit Oakwell on April 24.

On fifth-placed Barnsley, who won nine of their previous ten league matches prior to their recent home reverse to Sheffield Wednesday - who ended the club’s outstanding 12-match unbeaten run - Warne observed: “Barnsley have done brilliantly. We played them on our first game back from Covid (first batch before Christmas) and ever since then, they have virtually won every game!

“They don’t complicate the game and everybody knows how hard they physically have to put in and they play forward all the time virtually and everything comes into the box.

“They have got some very good players at the top end of the park, obviously.

“It is just a habit and they are in a habit of winning games and they must feel that every time that they go onto the pitch, even when they go a goal down, that they are going to win.

“You look at the game at Bournemouth and fair play to Carlton (Morris - former Rotherham loanee) for his goal from a free-kick.

“They just have a real belief and sometimes, you go through winning games like that and in the same way, teams can lose three or four on the spin and not know where the first win is coming from.

“Really, apart from the management, shape and tactics, most of it comes from between people’s ears and Barnsley have been feeling invincible and probably them, Watford and the Norwichg are the ones who feel they can win when they walk onto the pitch at the moment."