BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill knows there could be a “breaking point” somewhere in his tenure at Oakwell unless results improve.
Hill’s job may become unsafe yet he remains committed to trying to haul the Reds up the Championship table having lost four of their last six league matches.
Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Hull City was a cruel afternoon to take, especially because influential midfielder David Perkins limped off with a re-occurrence of the hamstring injury which has already limited his action this action.
Perkins is now expected to be out anywhere between four and six weeks, a major blow to Hill’s midfield engine room.
And with leading scorer Craig Davies out for at least another fortnight with his hamstring injury, Hill knows now is the time for his team to show the character he believes his players have got in abundance.
Hill said: “Sometimes it all takes is one result, suddenly the confidence and the belief comes flooding back.
“But it’s hugely disappointing to have lost Perks through injury again - and we’ve still got Craig out as well.
“Maybe Perks was avoidable, but that’s no disrespect to our physio team because they have done everything then can to get him back.
“It could have something to do with playing so many games in such a short space of time, but I think we’ve also just been really unlucky with injuries this season.”
Hill is hopeful of signing a new striker, ideally on loan with Davies still sidelined and the belief that he needs to bolster his attacking options.
But there will be no new recruits in time for tonight’s away clash with Derby County at Pride Park.
The Reds have a good record against the Rams and have not lost to the Midland’s club since a 2-1 defeat back in November 2006.
Last season Hill’s men impressed with a 3-1 home win over Nigel Clough’s side, while promising teenager Paul Digby made his senior debut in a battling 1-1 draw at Pride Park.
“Derby have done really well this season, that’s probably down to the patience and perseverance the board have shown in Nigel,” added Hill. “Him and Kenny Jackett (at Millwall) are probably the two longest serving managers in the Championship. It just shows you what can be achieved with patience, both those clubs are benefiting from giving their managers time.”
Midfielder Digby is also missing for this evening’s clash, while goalkeeper Luke Steele is set to retain his place having replaced Ben Alnwick in Saturday’s defeat to the Tigers.