Hill won’t get carried away with Red-hot form

Barnsley FC
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BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill has stressed the club’s main objective is reaching 50 points this season and to retain their Championship status.

The Reds had climbed to a high of eighth in the standings after a impressive run of five victories in six games.

And the challenge to continue progressing doesn’t get any easier with the Reds set to host Ipswich Town in tomorrow’s 5.20pm televised kick-off at Oakwell.

Although his team were just three points off the play-offs Hill is keen to get a control of expectation from the club’s supporters.

“We’re 10 points off the bottom three, that’s the way you have to look at it sometimes,” he said.

“Look at how tight this league is, it’s so unforgiving at times. You just need to look at some of the teams and the way they have plummeted down the table.

“Looking at the league table at this stage last season after 19 games Coventry were in the top four, but now they’re right down there. We don’t take anything for granted and there’s no arrogance in our assessment of games or where we are or what we’re trying to achieve.

“We want to get to 50 points as quickly as we can because that keeps you in.”

Tuesday’s 2-1 home win over Crystal Palace was the club’s fourth straight win. And the team is gunning to make that five wins on the trot against the out-of-sorts Tractor Boys who have lost their last seven league games. “It’s difficult to play down that expectation,” admitted Hill.

“There has to be a little bit of patience. Don’t over-egg the pudding, if you like, but we are quite level-headed. We expect the supporters to come and show their enthusiasm, but we also expect a little bit of forgiveness if things aren’t going quite according to their plan.

“Football can be a great leveller at any standard, never mind the Championship. I want the fans to be a enjoy it because I’m enjoying it. And we want to be forgiven when things don’t go right.”

Striker Andy Gray will be pushing hard to return to the starting line-up having been absent with an Achilles injury, but left-back Jay McEveley is a doubt with a thigh injury.