MICHAEL Duff does not think League One’s top three will continue to pull away from the chasing pack but is more focused on Barnsley’s form.

The fourth-placed Reds are nine points behind top three Ipswich Town, Plymouth Argyle and Sheffield Wednesday who have all played two games more than Duff’s side.

The head coach said: “I don’t know if we can catch them and I am not really bothered at the moment.

“I won’t make predictions and talk is cheap.

“I didn’t think we would score a goal a few months ago, but we just kept working hard.

“One team usually comes out of the pack late on.

“I don’t see the top three going away (from the rest) like they did at the start of the season.

“If two of the top three end up hitting a wall, it’s irrelevant if we don’t win games. We will worry about us, not them.”

What does he make of the division in general this year?

“It’s more competitive.

“Last year there was a definite split and it was almost two leagues.

“This year the bottom three and top three are cut adrift but it is pretty close between the 18 in between

“Last year there were very few surprises.

“This year there are more.

“I think it’s a good league with some good players.”

After tomorrow’s game at home to Burton Albion, Barnsley are due to complete their 2022 fixtures with a Boxing Day trip to Accrington Stanley and a home game against Fleetwood Town on Thursday, December 29.