Barnsley: Reds chief has eyes on ten derbies

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BARNSLEY director Don Rowing would love it if there were TEN Yorkshire derbies to look forward to next season.

But only on one condition - if the Reds retain their Championship status.

The Oakwell outfit are clinging on to their Championship status by the skin of their teeth with nine league fixtures remaining.

But Rowing is confident the South Yorkshire club will avoid relegation and in an ideal world would face derbies with Sheffield United, Doncaster Rovers, Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds United and Hull City next season.

The Reds have faced the Owls, Leeds and Hull this season, but the Blades and Rovers - who are third and first respectively in League One - are well-placed for a welcome return to the Championship.

And if the Tigers don’t get promoted from the Championship and both the Reds and Owls stay up, the possibility of a total of ten Yorkshire derbies will become a reality.

“It would be brilliant wouldn’t it?” revealed Rowing to The Star.

“There’s always added spice for a derby match and everyone looks forward to them, especially the fans.

“I’d love it if ourselves and Sheffield Wednesday stay up, that would be great for both clubs.

“And in an ideal world Sheffield United and Doncaster both get promoted. They would be some great games to look forward to next season.

“Not just financially for all the clubs but, for the players and the supporters, those are the matches which everyone really enjoys.”

And it’s a mouth-watering South Yorkshire derby with Sheffield Wednesday next up for the Reds on Saturday, March 30 at Hillsborough with the Owls just one point above the Reds.

Both managers will probably play down the importance of the match, but both sets of supporters know a victory could go a long way to securing their respective safety.

“It’s a massive game for us,” admitted Rowing. “It’s a game neither club can afford to lose. But it’s a game we can look forward to and one which we’ll be confident of doing well in.

The Reds were beaten 1-0 by the Owls at Oakwell this season. Ironically, Chris O’Grady who scored the winning goal for the visitors. He’s on loan at Barnsley to the end of the season but is ineligible for the fixture.

Meanwhile, the Reds are monitoring Rory Delap’s ankle injury sustained after just six minutes of Saturday’s fine 1-0 home win over Watford.

The club are set to make a decision on whether to give ex-Bolton Wanderers left-back Ricardo Gardner, who’s been on trial, a short-term deal.