Ismael has certainly brought an air of positivity to Oakwell Stadium since taking the reins, but Saturday's defeat to Swansea proved that the Tykes are not ready to mix with the promotion-chasing pack just yet.
Jamal Lowe broke the deadlock within the opening two minutes before substitute Victor Adeboyejo turned into his own net in the 66th minute, with Barnsley's three-game winning run coming to an abrupt end at the Liberty Stadium.
Ismael's side had taken nine points from nine in fixtures with Wycombe Wanderers, Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday before losing to Swansea, and Barnsley have successfully steered themselves away from danger over the past couple of months, with the Tykes now only five points adrift of the playoff places in 13th.
Barnsley could potentially rise as high as ninth with a win if other results go their way on Boxing Day, and Ismael's side have only suffered two defeats in their last nine on familiar territory, with both losses coming to title-chasing sides in Brentford and Bournemouth.
Meanwhile, Huddersfield's clash with a fellow Premier League-chasing team went as well as the Terriers faithful could have hoped, with Carlos Corberan's men enjoying a 2-0 win over Watford on home soil.
Fraizer Campbell opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the season before Etienne Capoue turned into his own net before the half-time whistle blew, and there were no more goals to be had at the John Smith's Stadium as Huddersfield recorded their fourth home win in a row.
While the Terriers have produced the goods at home, Huddersfield are on a five-game winless streak away from home and have not prevailed on unfamiliar territory since beating Millwall on Halloween, with six of the Terriers' eight league wins this season coming at the John Smith's Stadium.
Barnsley managed to triumph in this fixture 2-1 last season, but Huddersfield won on their own turf by the same scoreline back in October.
Barnsley Championship form: WLWWWL
Huddersfield Town Championship form: LWWLDW
Huddersfield boss Corberan has revealed that goalkeeper Ben Hamer is nearing a return to action, but the 33-year-old will not make the cut on Saturday.
Having recently lost six-goal striker Josh Koroma to a serious hamstring injury, Corberan will be hoping to see Campbell find the net on a consistent basis over the coming months, especially with Danny Ward also sidelined until the New Year.
Barnsley possible starting lineup:
Walton; Sollbauer, Andersen, Helik; Brittain, Mowatt, James, Styles; Frieser, Woodrow, Chaplin
Huddersfield Town possible starting lineup:
Schofield; Pipa, Edmonds-Green, Sarr, Toffolo; Eiting, Hogg, O'Brien; Mbenza, Campbell, Bacuna
We say: Barnsley 1-1 Huddersfield Town
The loss of Koroma is sure to affect Huddersfield's goalscoring touch over the next couple of months, but having comfortably beaten a promotion-chasing Watford side, Corberan's men will feel confident going into this one. Ismael's Barnsley will be determined to bounce back from their loss at Swansea, and with Huddersfield struggling for wins on their travels, we are expecting a closely-fought draw in this one.