Reds hopeful despite Hill talks stalling

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BARNSLEY’S search for a new manager continued this weekend with negotiations still ongoing with Keith Hill.

Rochdale boss Hill was due at Oakwell for an interview today for the vacant position, but The Star understands that interview was postponed as talks reached a deadlock over the weekend.

Hill’s wages are thought to be an early stumbling block, although the club are confident they will get their man.

Barnsley spoke to Hill on Friday and talks between the two parties are likely to continue this week to see if some middle ground can be found.

“Our search for a new manager is ongoing,” club director Don Rowing told The Star.

“We’re speaking with Keith at the moment, but there is more than one candidate for the position.”

A string of managers have been linked with the Barnsley hotseat following Mark Robins’ resignation eight days ago.

Former Sheffield Wednesday managers Brian Laws and Alan Irvine have applied for the position, as has former Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell.

If negotiations to break down with Hill then any one of the trio of Laws, Irvine or Blackwell could be in the frame.

Hill, 42, steered Dale to their first promotion since 1969 last year and then guided the club to ninth in their first season in League One.

He took charge of Rochdale in December 2006 as caretaker manager following the sacking of Steve Parkin - who left Rochdale to manager Barnsley in 2001 - and took permanent charge in January 2007. He has revitalised the club with David Flitcroft his right hand man.

As a player Hill started his career with Blackburn Rovers, making nearly 100 appearances as a centre-back, before long spells with Plymouth Argyle and Rochdale.

He also played for Morecambe Town, Wrexham and Cheltenham before moving into management.

A Reds insider added: “You only to have to look at Keith Hill’s record, he’s done a fantastic job at Rochdale. He’s very highly-regarded.”

Hill took over when Rochdale were 22nd in League Two with 20 points after 23 games and three points off bottom place. They finished ninth and just five points outside a play-off place.

In the 2008/09 season, playing some exciting, attacking football, they comfortably reached the play-offs with 80 points which included 10 wins in the final 14 matches of the season but lost 3-2 to Stockport at Wembley.

Last season they gained automatic promotion to League One, finishing third on 82 points, and this season Rochdale finished ninth.