Barnsley: Flitcroft defends decision to drop Steele

Mike Pollitt made his Barnsley debut in the cup defeat to Southampton.
Mike Pollitt made his Barnsley debut in the cup defeat to Southampton.
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Reds boss David Flitcroft has stressed he made the right decision by dropping first-choice goalkeeper Luke Steele for Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup defeat to Southampton.

Steele was relegated to the substitute’s bench and his replacement, the 41-year-old Wigan loan shot-stopper Mike Pollitt, leaked five goals in a crushing 5-1 defeat at Oakwell.

“Steeley needed taking out, there was no doubt about that,” said Flitcroft.

“Luke was rested because I wanted to look at something different. It was a good opportunity to do something different [with it being the Capital One Cup]. I felt it was the right thing to do.

“I thought he [Pollitt] put in quite a commanding display. He wasn’t at fault for any of the five goals.

“It gives Luke some competition. That’s what any player needs.

“I’ve got two number one’s now rather than a number one and a number two. I’ve felt for quite a while that Luke Steele has maybe not been under enough competition.

“So I decided to relieve him of a bit of pressure. I think a bit of pressure has just been building up on Luke.

“I’ve brought in a player who is a big character and someone I feel is used to playing in good games. He gives us a little bit of solidity behind the back four.”

It was the third time this season the Reds – who have only played six games – have conceded four or more goals.

They’ve conceded an alarming 17 goals in six games thus far, with 10 goals having come in the last two games alone.

Granted Tuesday night’s cup defeat was against Premier League Southampton, but Flitcroft acknowledges he has a serious defensive concern to address.

“We’re conceding a lot of goals and that’s something that has been concerning me,” he admitted.

Meanwhile, trialist midfielder Gary Dicker is not training with the Reds anymore