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Sport Barnsley boss Michael Duff admits he'd love to emulate Middlesbrough's style of play under Wilder

02:40  14 august  2022
02:40  14 august  2022 Source:   gazettelive.co.uk

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Michael Duff has praised Chris Wilder's style of play and admits he'd love his Barnsley side to emulate it as he prepares to bring them to the Riverside in the cup.

Barnsley manager Michael Duff © PA Barnsley manager Michael Duff

Barnsley clash with Middlesbrough in the first round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening in what will be Duff's third competitive game in charge of the Tykes. With one win and one defeat so far, Duff is still trying to impress on his players the way he wants them to play, and he admits the Boro model is not far off.

The former Burnley and Northern Ireland defender has enjoyed a solid start to his management career, guiding Cheltenham back to League One and then a highest ever finish for the club last term before earning the opportunity at Oakwell this summer. And in assessing Boro ahead of the first-round game, he admitted his admiration for the way Wilder has his sides play.

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Duff said: "We'll do the analysis and watching Middlesbrough is almost like a best practice session for us. We went through them in depth on Monday and Chris hasn't gone away from what got him success - why would you?

"It's one of those formations that if you can do it properly it's really difficult to play against. I've done it myself and it feels like they've got bodies all over the pitch at times.

"It's something we'll try to emulate but it does take time and a lot of coaching on the training ground because it's slightly different from a typical 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. They're probably disappointed with one point from their first two games but they've got a good squad.

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"It starts from the top with a good manager. The way I've played for the last three or four years is very similar to how Chris has played in terms of the system and the personnel, within it in terms of a deep-lyer (in midfield) and the two eights that run on, then centre-forwards that run in behind.

"It's almost a best practice when you watch them play - that's what I want us to do. It'll be good to pick Chris's brain after the game as well."

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