Grant McCann has taken a swipe at Sunderland - citing their financial advantage in comparison to his Doncaster Rovers side.
Back-to-back relegations for the Black Cats has required Stewart Donald to make a significant amount of cuts since taking over from Ellis Short in May 2018.
However, despite Donald being able to terminate the contract of high earners Didier Ndong and Papy Djilobodji, players like Lee Cattermole and Bryan Ovideo, who featured for the club in the Premier League, remain at the Stadium of Light.
Due to the nature of playing top-flight football just two years ago, it is no secret that Jack Ross' side possess the biggest weekly wage budget in League One - and McCann believes there are no excuses for failing to achieve promotion.
"They'll have one player on more money than my whole team - I know that for a fact," said McCann, speaking to BBC Sheffield.
"They're a huge club for this division. They should be running away with the league really, with the budget they've got."
Just one point separates the two clubs in the table, sitting third and sixth, respectively.
In their first league meeting since 1988, Doncaster could leapfrog the Ross' side in the table with a victory.
Sunderland, however, could move into the automatic promotion spots, holding a game in hand.
McCann insists, that apart from Barnsley and the Black Cats, the rest of England's third tier teams have similar resources.
"This season, I think generally League One is more of a level playing field - apart from Sunderland and Barnsley," McCann added.
"Barnsley have a squad that they've put together for about £10million and their XI that they put out every week is worth about that.
"It's a Championship team, so those two are head and shoulders above everybody financially."