BARNSLEY: Reds boss Keith Hill calls for bravery

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BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill doesn’t want sympathy, he wants bravery from everyone at the club and a united fan-base to support the club’s determined drive to avoid relegation.

A 2-1 Boxing Day home defeat to Birmingham City sees the Reds languishing second from bottom in the Championship, their lowest position all season.

But Hill remains convinced he is the right man to flip the Reds’ faltering fortunes around as they gun to climb the table.

Speaking exclusively to The Star, Hill said: “In life when you’re down people do tend to kick you even harder, but we’re brave enough to go again.

“The challenge is there and I’m still up for the fight. There’s no doubting it’s very hard at the moment, but we need everybody on side to fight this challenge together.

“There’s no easy exit route – and we know that. It’s got to be a collective effort to change our fortunes.

“This club has been through adversity and tough times before and everybody has pulled together to keep us in the Championship. We’ve got to do the same again.

“We’re deep in a relegation fight – and three teams are going to go down. We don’t want it to be us.”

Hill has been pleased with some encouraging performances despite picking up only one win in their last 13 matches.

But the manager knows his side need points on the board now to avoid the risk of getting sucked into a relegation dogfight come the end of the season.

“We’ve got to start winning,” added Hill, ahead of tomorrow’s crunch home clash with Blackburn Rovers.

“Regardless of whoever you’re playing, you’ve got to be brave enough to embrace the challenge.

“There’s no miracle cure in football. It’s a long haul at the end of the day, but we’ve never lost sight of the remit of retaining this club its Championship status.

“You’ve got to be genuine in your pursuit of success – and I’ve never lost that. If I had I would have given up and resigned myself to not being able to improve things.

“I’ve put a lot of man hours and brain hours into developing this club for a better future, so I’m not giving up now. I’ll see this challenge through until the end.”

Defender Stephen Foster returns from a one-match suspension, although the injured Martin Cranie (knee), Jacob Mellis (dead leg), Paul Digby (thigh) and Reuben Noble-Lazarus (ankle) will not play any part against Rovers.

Midfielder Akos Buzsaky has also trained this week and is in contention having recovered from injury.