Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore praises 'magnificent' and 'meticulous' Barnsley FC rival Michael Duff and makes fans prediction

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY manager Darren Moore insists he has not been surprised at former club Barnsley's renaissance in 2022-23 and is effusive in his praise of opposite number Michael Duff.

Duff, who headed to Oakwell last June, has pushed the Reds to the brink of an instant return to the Championship just 12 months after a pitiful relegation season.

Moore, of course, will be doing his level best to prevent that happening and he aims to put one over his counterpart in Monday's League One final at Wembley.

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But his respect for the job Duff has done couldn’t be higher.

Darren Moore.Darren Moore.
Darren Moore.

Moore said: "I've known Duffers a little while over the course of our football careers and now he's into management.

"Am I surprised with the work he's done at Barnsley? No. Why am I not? "Because he is thorough and meticulous with his work and a worker and sees and understands the game and he's very astute with his approach in terms of how he sets his teams up and understanding the strengths and weaknesses.

"He's shown a level of consistency with wonderful leadership qualities. He is clear and methodical in his approach and clear in his views.

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"He's done a magnificent job to go in there and steady the ship. And not only to do that, but give the whole place belief.

Michael Duff, pictured after Barnsley's win over Plymouth in March. Picture: Bruce RollinsonMichael Duff, pictured after Barnsley's win over Plymouth in March. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Michael Duff, pictured after Barnsley's win over Plymouth in March. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

"Credit to him for the work he has done this season, it really has been a tremendous bit of work."As managers, you can appreciate work done over the course of a season and he really has done a magnificent job. But he knows it as I have told him myself, because I told him after we played them."

The Owls will be backed by around two-thirds of the Wembley crowd, with a huge following of around 44,000 Wednesdayites set to descend on the capital on Monday.

Moore has implored Owls fans to provide a wall of noise, with their raucous fan power providing motivational fuel in the incredible second-leg victory over Peterborough United at Hillsborough last week.

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Moore continued: "The supporters are doing all they can and I'd ask them to continue doing all they can because what they have been doing has definitely been felt by us and the team.

"It will be a proud day down there and seeing them all. Get right behind us and we will need another push on Monday.

"I am quite calm and my focus is getting the work done and I can leave Monday where it is. It is great to hear the interest from the support base, but I am really focused internally.

"The support is incredible and we have felt that passion and energy all season and we can appreciate what it will be like down there. But in terms of anticipation, I bet it will be more than that (previous levels of support before)."