Hill confident of overcoming ‘fallen giants’

Ready for action: Keith Hill is looking forward to facing Leeds
Ready for action: Keith Hill is looking forward to facing Leeds
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BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill “cannot wait” for the Yorkshire derby showdown with Leeds United tomorrow.

The Reds travel to Elland Road looking to make it three out of three this season for derby victories.

A 2-1 home win against Hull City earlier this month and then a fine 2-0 home victory over local rivals Doncaster Rovers last Saturday has seen Hill’s Oakwell outfit climb to a high of 15th in the Championship table.

Now Hill is urging his team to kick on ahead of the hectic festive period.

“It’s [playing Leeds] a massive game for us, I really can’t wait for it,” enthused Hill.

“I played at Elland Road as a player and I kept thinking to myself how brilliant it was when I walked out on to the pitch for the first time.

“Gordon Strachan was captain of Leeds back then and we got a 1-1 draw, but I just remember the atmosphere being amazing.

“Let’s make no mistake about it, Leeds are ex-Premier League fallen giants, it’s a club who have traditionally been giants in the game.

“They’ve played in the Champions League and are now pushing hard to get back in the Premier League.

“We’re working with a tight budget here [at Barnsley], but whether it’s a good playing budget or wage budget, Leeds are investing the money to allow them to try and push for promotion.

“But I’m not jealous of it, that’s the challenge for us to test ourselves against them.

“There’s too much publicity for managers who are doing well with lots of money, but I’m getting the plaudits from the people I need too. I’ve got the backing of the board and I’m trying to get the fans to understand our long-term plan.”

Hill has a fully fit squad at his disposal with new loan signing Nile Ranger expected to feature at some stage. Newcastle United striker Ranger has joined on loan until January 14.

However a move for while Manchester City midfielder and Gai Assulin fell through due to an injury.