Sheffield Wednesday defeat hands Barnsley FC reminder not to think too far ahead, says manager Michael Duff

Weekend results have done Michael Duff's Barnsley team talk for him as his team travel to Exeter City in League One.

Sunday's 1-0 defeat for Sheffield Wednesday at bottom-of-the-table Forest Green Rovers was a reminder of how any team in the division can be beaten if they are not on top of their game.

As recently as Tuesday afternoon the Owls were unbeaten in 23 league matches, Forest Green winless in 16.

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And on top of that, Exeter were 5-0 winners of Accrington Stanley on Saturday.

Both results were warnings not to get too carried away after Barnsley brilliantly ended the Owls' unbeaten run with a 4-2 win on Tuesday which took their own sequence to 12 matches.

"It shows you you can't take anything for granted in this league," said manager Duff, who has a fully-fit squad to pick from but a decision to make on James Norwood, who is one booking away from a suspension with nine yellow cards and a red already this season.

"You can't look at a game and think that's a banker because when you look at some of the results, yesterday particularly, football has a funny habit of kicking you in the nether regions.

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"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.

FOCUS: Barnsley manager Michael Duff constantly warns his players about not getting too far ahead of themselvesFOCUS: Barnsley manager Michael Duff constantly warns his players about not getting too far ahead of themselves
FOCUS: Barnsley manager Michael Duff constantly warns his players about not getting too far ahead of themselves

"You're going to have bad days every now and again, everyone is.

"I don’t think last Tuesday was the first big game we've had. We've had a lot of them, particularly in the last six weeks and we've come through them well.

"In terms of warning shots, 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.

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"The weekend's results, there's loads of markers and we might go down there and get beaten but the players should be fully aware they're going to need to hit similar levels.

"It's more difficult because there won't be the atmosphere (of Tuesday's sold-out Oakwell), it's a long way to go but there's no excuses.

"We've already done it once this season (travelling down for a postponed game), we know how far it is. They have to be ready.

"At this time of the season you're going to have bad days but I'd like to think it's not through a lack of motivation because they've worked so hard for so long to get themselves into a position and it's just maintaining that focus on how they go about.

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"It's important the staff prepare the team right, I pick the right team and they deliver the performances that hopefully get you enough results."

And when Duff talks about the focus only being on his team, he practices what he preaches.

"I didn't see (Sunday's televised) game, I was out watching kids football all day," he said. "I saw the result but I don't know the ins and outs, whether it was Forest Green being brilliant or Sheffield Wednesday being off.

"I spent time with the family and I'll focus on us. I went to Exeter on Saturday (with Barnsley inactive because of the international break) and did the prep for us so watching Sheffield Wednesday wasn't the most important thing for me this weekend."