Barnsley: Relieved Reds ace looks to the future

Long-serving Barnsley defender Bobby Hassell.
Long-serving Barnsley defender Bobby Hassell.
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Barnsley stalwart Bobby Hassell has told The Star that it would have been a “travesty” if the club had been relegated.

The Reds clinched their Championship survival on a frantic final day with a battling 2-2 away derby draw with Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town.

But it was not until Crystal Palace grabbed a last-gasp winner to condemn Peterborough United to relegation, that the Reds finally new they were safe .

“It was unbearable listening to the scores come in, but it would have been a travesty if we’d have gone down, especially after our form since Christmas,” Hassell told The Star.

“You’ve got to feel sympathy for Peterborough because they went on a brilliant run like we did.

“But there was a great sense of achievement from everyone because of what we’d done.

“Everybody had written us off of staying up when we were bottom of the league, but I always believed we could stay up.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but we’ve shown some incredible character to stay up.

“We should be proud of what we’ve achieved, but not get too carried away because we have finished near the bottom of the table.

“But hopefully we can build now for next season and come back stronger. There’s a lot of belief in this squad.”

Hassell is one of seven players to be offered a new deal to stay at Barnsley next season in what would be his tenth year at the club.

And the Reds’ current longest-serving player is understood to be weighing up his options whether to stay at Oakwell, where he is likely to be used as a bit-part player again next term, or move to pastures new to prolong his career in the Championship.

Many Reds fans would love the versatile defender/midfielder to stay at the club, but boss David Flitcroft is understood to want to recruit a number of new faces to strengthen for next season.

“I can’t see much changing unless we attract new players,” admitted Hassell. “But for that to happen you need to have a lot more money to invest in the club.”

Meanwhile, Reds boss Flitcroft is understand to be mulling over the future of midfielder Kelvin Etuhu.

The club have an option in Etuhu’s current contract to extend his stay, while seven other players have been offered deals to remain at the club for next season.