BARNSLEY: Keith Hill defends under-pressure Reds shot-stopper

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BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill has vowed to stay strong under pressure from some supporters to replace current shot-stopper Ben Alnwick with rival keeper Luke Steele.

Former Tottenham Hotspur keeper Alnwick has held the No 1 jersey all season with ex-Manchester United keeper Steele having been injured.

But since regaining full fitness, Steele has been confined to the substitute’s bench, forced to wait patiently for his chance to get back in the team.

It is no surprise Steele has been frustrated with lack of match action.

Hill understands and is happy to have a healthy rivalry between his two main keepers.

“I’ve seen there’s a massive call for me to put Luke back in, but I’ve got to be strong and do what I believe is right,” Hill told The Star.

“I could put Luke back in this Saturday, but then again I might not. I’ve got to do what’s right for the team.

“Ben has been absolutely magnificent for us this season and he’s improving all the time. We did a lot of work with him in the closed-season and, apart from against Brighton and Wolves, he’s done very well.

“It’s not just Ben’s fault though if we concede goals; it’s a team responsability.

“At the end of the day I understand Luke’s position and he has knocked on my door and we’ve had a chat about it.

“There’s no question that Luke is an excellent goalkeeper but it’s good to have that rivalry. It keeps both of them on their toes.”

Alnwick has impressed in spells this season but on Saturday attracted criticism for his mistake which led to Nottingham Forest’s third goal in a 4-1 win at Oakwell.

And Hill acknowledged: “Ben was maybe to blame for their [Forest’s] third goal and could have maybe done better with one of their other goals, but he’s had a good season. For me, it’s about cutting out the mistakes we’ve made.

“Last season, I’d beat myself up with things we did wrong, but I can’t do that now in my second season.”