Midfield duo ‘can do the business’

Danny Drinkwater
Danny Drinkwater
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BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill can see an exciting central midfield partnership blossoming between youngsters Jacob Butterfield and Danny Drinkwater.

The duo played with each other at Manchester United before Butterfield moved to the Reds to further his career after limited opportunities at Old Trafford.

Jacob Butterfield

Jacob Butterfield

And having also struggled to break into the first team at United with a plethora of stars competing for starting places, Drinkwater decided a switch to Oakwell to develop under Hill and assistant boss David Flitcroft would benefit his career.

The 21-year-old midfielder has joined the club on loan until January 2 having had previous loan spells with Huddersfield Town, Watford and Cardiff City.

“There’s more to come from Danny Drinkwater,” predicted Hill.

“He’s a very good technician. Time stands still sometimes when he’s in possession, which is great because it allows for them [attacking] runs to go through.

“He’s not fully match fit yet, but we’ve got a lot of time before we play Leicester a week tomorrow. It’s about making sure his match fitness is right.

“He’s got unbelievable energy, so when he’s got his fitness up to the level we want from him he’ll be able to do much better and run through lines.

“We need someone like him if we’re going to play with two wide midfielder players, then we need the central players to show energy and support the striker.

“And there’s more to come from Jacob Butterfield. I’ve also got to give him his match legs and his Championship legs because he was an impact player last season and everyone only saw him for a great cameo of 20 minutes.

“He’s better than that, but I’ve got to give him the opportunity to get his match legs because he will be a regular for me if he does his function for the team.

“Jacob’s the type of player that can unluck doors for you, the type we need in advanced areas of the pitch.

“The more matches he gets, the better he’ll be able to maintain a sustained physical performance and show his true capabilities.

“Their partnership will be brilliant because it will progressively get better the more they play together.”

Midfielders Miles Addison, Reuben Noble-Lazarus and Nathan Doyle are all out through injury, but Hill is hopeful they will be fit in time to face Leicester City.

And with strikers Ricardo Vaz Te and Craig Davies also in line for returns from injury, Hill knows he’s got a difficult job to pick a starting XI and keep those not in the side happy.