LUKE Steele has called for Barnsley’s supporters to get behind manager Keith Hill as the club make a concerted effort to ease their relegation worries.
Former Manchester United shot-stopper Steele has been a revelation since regaining the number one jersey at Oakwell.
But even his heroics couldn’t prevent the club from slipping into the Championship bottom three.
And with a mini-league emerging at the foot of the table, Steele has stressed now is not the time for fans to be taking their frustration out on Hill.
“There’s nothing wrong with what the manager is doing, we [the players] have got to take the blame,” admitted Steele, speaking exclusively to The Star.
“The manager likes to defend us, but all the pressure shouldn’t come down to him. It’s unfair.
“There are fans who only judge us on results, which is fair enough and that’s their opinion.
“If you only go on results then we’ve not been good enough this season.
“But some of our performances have been very good and sometimes we’ve ended up not taking anything from them.
“It’s frustrating for all of us, but we all have to take it [the criticism] on the chin.
“But I’ve been in this position before and I know we’re not mentally beat.
“Sometimes you know when teams are mentally beat, then it’s all over.
“We’re nowhere near that happening though. All the lads are united and we want to get out of trouble. We want to turn things around.”
A 1-0 derby defeat to Sheffield Wednesday didn’t help the cause, but Steele is confident there are plenty of games left to get themselves out of trouble - starting today against Birmingham City, the first of two home games for the club over the festive period.
“It [losing to Sheffield Wednesday] was a massive loss, especially because it was a local derby,” said Steele.
“At face value it’s hard to tell how much the rest of the players are hurting, you don’t know whether they’re burning up inside. But it’s up to us to make things right now. There’s still a hell of a lot of points left to play for, so there’s still time.
“We’ve got to go into every game thinking it’s winnable - and it is. There’s a chance to get some valuable points on the board.”