Barnsley: We’ve Steele got a chance of staying up, insists Luke

Barnsley goalkeeper Luke Steele.
Barnsley goalkeeper Luke Steele.
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Barnsley goalkeeper Luke Steele has stressed belief isn’t lacking despite the club being rooted to the foot of the Championship.

The troubled Reds have 10 games to avoid the drop – and Steele has stressed they will scrap all the way to the wire of what has been a poor season.

“We need to get everyone behind us,” stressed Steele ahead of tonight’s away clash with Reading. “I know the fans are still behind us and they believe we can do it [stay up]. We believe we can do it, so we’re still scrapping and want to climb out of that bottom three.

“It’s very tight at the bottom, so looking back now that’s why a point [against Bournemouth on Saturday] could [have] be quite crucial come the end of the season.

“But there’s still loads to play for and we’ll pick ourselves up from it [the 1-0 defeat].

“We’ll get back on the training ground and work hard because we’ve got huge games again on Tuesday and on Saturday [away to Yeovil Town].”

The Reds have won only once on their travels all season and hold the unenviable record of the worst away record in the Football League.

And Danny Wilson’s job doesn’t get any easier against a Royals side who are unbeaten in their last four matches.

Just to make life even more difficult, influential centre-back Peter Ramage limped off with a re-occurrence of the hamstring injury which forced him off earlier against Leicester City and to miss the Reds’ away clash with Watford last weekend.

Fellow centre-back Martin Cranie is also missing with a hamstring injury, with both players expected to be sidelined for at least a fortnight.

But Steele believes the injuries present an opportunity for others to step up to the plate and shine.

“Ramage has torn his hamstring, so he could be a big loss for us,” added Steele. “But we’re a squad and that’s what you judge the season on. We’ve got to try and bounce back. Our home games are massive, but every game is massive now.”

Club stalwart Bobby Hassell remains sidelined with a calf injury, while full-back Jack Hunt is facing a late fitness test with the ankle injury which forced him to be taken off at half-time against the Cherries.

Meanwhile, Reds skipper Stephen Dawson has revealed that Saturday’s defeat to Bournemouth was the “lowest” the squad have been this season.

“There’s a lot of doom and gloom because of another loss, but there’s a lot of points to play for and we’re not relegated,” stressed Dawson.

“Don’t get me wrong, the players are down and it’s probably the lowest we’ve been as a group, but hopefully the fans saw a reaction from us. We just have to keep going.”