Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore believes Michael Duff has done a “magnificent job” at League One play-off final opponents Barnsley.
Both managers meet on Monday for the all-South Yorkshire clash at Wembley, where the winners will celebrate promotion to the Championship.
Wednesday progressed to the final after staging a thrilling second-leg comeback against Peterborough, overturning a 4-0 aggregate deficit, while Barnsley earned their place in less dramatic circumstances by squeezing past Bolton 2-1 after two legs.
Moore was full of praise for the job Duff has done.
“I’ve known Duffers a little while now over the course of our footballing careers and now into management at the level that we are,” Moore told a pre-match press conference.
“Am I surprised with the work he’s done at Barnsley? No.
“Why am I not surprised? Because he’s thorough, he’s meticulous with his work, he’s a worker, he sees the game, he understands the game and he’s very astute with his approach in the game in terms of how he sets his team up and understanding the strengths and weaknesses that his team has.
“So if you embody that with where he’s at, it shows the level of consistency, he’s got wonderful leadership qualities, he’s clear and methodical with his approach and he’s clear with his views.
“He’s done a magnificent job to go in there and steady the ship and not only steady the ship, but give the whole place belief in a continuation.
“Credit to him and the work he’s done this season, it really has been a tremendous bit of work.
“As managers we can appreciate the work that we’ve done over the course of the season and I’ve got to say to him he’s done a magnificent job, but he knows it because I told him myself after we played them.
“Credit to him, we go head-to-head again at Wembley on Monday and our two teams will battle it out to try and get that final spot that’ll take the team into the Championship.”
Wednesday finished the season third in League One with 96 points, while Barnsley secured a fourth-placed finish 10 points behind them.
Duff suggested in his press conference that the Tykes are going into the clash as underdogs, but Moore insisted Monday’s game has no favourites.
“He’s going to see it as that, but I’m too grey to suggest that,” the Owls boss added.
“What we have got is a final, we’ve got two teams competing in the final, two teams from Yorkshire, two local teams that see and know enough about each other.
“What we will do is focus on the game. Will I predict anybody as the favourite? No because there never are in a final.
“So I can blow that one out the water and say let’s just focus on the game.
“We approach the game as we have done all season with detail, with precision, with respect and we look to get about our work in the right manner.”