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Interviews

MICHAEL DUFF REACTS TO DERBY DAY VICTORY

4 September 2022

Interviews

MICHAEL DUFF REACTS TO DERBY DAY VICTORY

4 September 2022

Our Head Coach praised his side's performance in the 2-0 win at Hillsborough on Saturday afternoon against Sheffield Wednesday.

The Reds broke the deadlock on 34 minutes, as Devante Cole slotted home from a tight angle in front of the travelling Reds fans.

Our advantage was doubled after the break, with James Norwood powering home a header from a Luca Connell delivery with his first touch on 74 minutes.

Duff was obviously very pleased with the outcome of the match: "Delighted with the day's work.

"The players were magnificent, the supporters were magnificent. We did every part of the game well, out of possession we were good and compact.

"In possession, I thought we used the ball really well, mixed it up, went in behind, kept the ball. Then in the transitions, that's when we looked really dangerous. I'm disappointed, we probably could have scored more. But, clean sheet, two centre-forwards scoring goals, local derby.

"It ticked a lot of boxes today."

Two goals to the good away from home, the Owls began to apply pressure to the Barnsley defence as you would expect.

However, Duff praised his side's resilience and work ethic to keep out the home side: "I don't remember Brad making a save.

"I think Gregory obviously pulled one over his shoulder, didn't quite get his shot off. Other than that, I don't really remember.

"To keep them at arm's length with such a good squad for 98 minutes was really pleasing."

Last week at Ipswich we saw Jack Aitchison get off the mark in a Reds shirt, connecting with a cross with a diving header and converting at Portman Road.

At Hillsborough on Saturday another striker got off the mark for Barnsley, with Norwood's bullet header opening his account for the Club. Duff was happy for our number 9 in what has been an up-and-down week for the forward.

"He let himself down last week, and he let his teammates down," admitted the 44-year-old.

"Talk is cheap. The best apology you can make is going and getting that goal. Because, at 1-0, if they're launching the ball into the box with people like Smith [Michael] and Mallik Wilks out wide it might be a little bit more edgy.

"It's never comfortable, but it wasn't too nervewracking in the last five or six minutes."

The fantastic result for the Reds came alongside excellent support from the Barnsley faithful all afternoon in the away end at Hillsborough.

Duff wanted to show his appreciation for the travelling contingent and hopes the result has put a smile on the faces of Reds supporters.

"Thank you," emphasised our boss. 

"Hopefully, the players repaid their support. They've had a bumpy ride I think it's fair to say in the last 18 months. A lot of people have written this group off. They've written them off, for whatever reason, because 'he's better', 'he's better', 'he's better'.

"I think today they have shown that there are some footballers in there. My job is to work with them, try and make them better and that's what we'll do."

Watch Michael Duff's post-Sheffield Wednesday interview in full here on iFollow Barnsley.


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