“We need to be fair to the league”: Duff on Barnsley’s team selection ahead of Dons trip

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With fourth spot all but sewn up, Barnsley boss Michael Duff admitted he has to find the balance between resting players and not having a negative impact on the relegation battle when his side face MK Dons on Saturday.

The Tykes sit five points behind third place Sheffield Wednesday, and 10 clear of Bolton in fifth place with two games to go, guaranteed a home game in the second-leg of the play-off semi-finals.

With little to really play for then in their final two outings, Duff said his team selections and in-game subsitutions in the remaining two games will be made to win the games, but also to ensure the integrity of the division as Dons fight for survival.

“That’s the balance we need to get,” he said. “We need to be fair to the league. We make five subs pretty much every game, if I thought I was devaluing the team I wouldn’t make the subs.

“I think we’ve got a very good squad, that’s a decision we’ll have to make. The team that is picked is based on winning the game. It’s not a case of we’ll rest ten, eleven places going into next week.

“The mentality has been really good.”

On Dons, he continued: “They’ll be fighting for their lives. This is their last home game I think. They need to win. They lost a lot of players in the summer and they’ve really struggled. They’ve had a tough job on their hands.

“The two games that we’ve got left are good. Although we’re cemented in pretty much fourth it looks like, the two teams that we’re playing are fighting - which I think is good for us. We have to match that intensity.”