Valerien Ismael says Barnsley are keen to kick on and not settle for the praise they’ve received in the last week.

A strong showing in the FA Cup against Chelsea last Thursday was followed by Sunday’s impressive win at Brentford in which they became the first team to beat the Bees since October.

That was a first victory in 2021 for Barnsley, but they have made good strides under Ismael, moving level on points with Rovers heading into tonight’s game.

Rovers edged a close game 2-1 at Ewood Park in November, but a focused Ismael says his side will be ready for the upcoming challenge.

He said: “For us, it is Blackburn first. We are not satisfied at the moment and we want it to stay that way. We got a lot of praise last week, but last week is finished, now it is a new week with an important game for us.

“Blackburn is the start of this week and we are focused on what we have to do to win the game but, for sure, we have the confidence. We need to keep the momentum going, we need to come in another good run now and keep going. This is our purpose, this is our focus and this is my expectation on the guys.”

The visit of Rovers is the first game of 12 for Barnsley in the space of 38 days.

They go into it in the safety of mid-table and looking to continue their progress up the Championship under Ismael who took over in October.

“Normally you don’t have such a schedule, I think it’s only because of the pandemic that you have such a crazy schedule this year – normally you have more time between the games, more time to recover – and we have the squad to make the rotation,” he told his club website.

“For us, it’s not a problem. we’ve done it so far, we’ve sustained the intensity so far and now it’s important to stay that way because we are near to our purpose. We need to have the players focused to stay hungry, to give everything and to keep moving in the table to reach our purpose.”