Michael Duff said Barnsley were ‘not good enough’ at Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday as they went 4-1 down before coming back to draw 4-4.
James Norwood put the visitors in front but the relegation-battling hosts scored four times in 20 second half minutes. Norwood scored again then substitute Max Watters bagged a brace.
Head coach Duff said: “It was not good enough. Credit to them for getting back in the game but we had too many people not at it today. It has to be a warning shot for a few of them. All we proved was we’re not as good as we think we are.
“We need to be bang at it all the time. When we show proper intensity, desire and purpose, we look a good team but we didn’t do any of that today.
“I don’t know why and it’s for me and the staff to work out why. It’s not even about the result, it’s just certain things I didn’t like - their players running past ours, conceding from set plays – all the things we pride ourselves on. It was nowhere near the level we need to be at. It was 20 minutes of madness. We were miles off it.
“We didn’t show up for the second half, we probably thought it was going to be easy. MK Dons are fighting for their lives and they have some good players. There is no God-given right to beat anyone in football.
"Players are human, they know we’re probably going to finish fourth, I just get frustrated after the standards we have set. But I know what sort of team will turn up for the first play-off game.”
Mads Andersen missed the match. Duff said: “He injured a stomach muscle kicking a ball on Thursday. He couldn’t even hop today. I have been told stomach injuries heal quickly. The first play-off game is two weeks away so hopefully he should be fine.
“Adam Phillips got a kick on the calf and Luca Connell didn’t feel good after training on Thursday. We think they will both be fine for next week.”
Two-goal Watters added: “It was quite enjoyable. We had a lot of possession when I was on and fortunately we worked our way back.
“It looked like we were going to win it but you can’t win every game.
“My goals were two strikers’ goals. In the box at the right time and that’s what I am there to do.
“Two goals and an assist is a good outcome for me.”
More than 2,000 fans made the trip to Milton Keynes, many in fancy dress.
Duff said: “If it’s 4-1, you are already thinking of your apologises but it will be memorable game for them. They were brilliant again. I saw some strange outfits. I am sure they enjoyed themselves. They have been a constant. We asked for a connection between the team and supporters. I think the relationship is really good now. They have had some good days and hopefully a couple more to come.”