Barnsley: Reds feel pain of poor start

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Barnsley boss David Flitcroft has admitted that everyone at the club is hurting after the Reds’ worst start to a league season for 27 years.

But ever the optimist, Flitcroft is determined to make sure his struggling squad bounce back and haul themselves out of the relegation zone.

The Reds face Championship high-fliers Leicester City today on the back of three successive league defeats.

And Flitcroft is hungry for a response from his players, who have won just once in eight league fixtures this season.

“We’re all hurting,” admitted Flitcroft. “Everyone at the club is hurting, but we’re certainly not hiding.

“You want to win football matches as a boss, I’m no different to other managers up and down the land.

“We’ll be judged by what we do and the results we get, and our performances - and I think that’s key.

“I’ve got an opportunity to do something about it, which I’m delighted about.

“I’ve got a defiance about what I do, I’ve got a group of players who want to be successful and we want to prove to people that we’re good enough to compete be in this division.”

The Reds had a pre-planned board meeting on Monday that took extra importance following the club’s 5-1 thumping at the hands of Watford at home last Saturday.

Rumours circulated that Flitcroft might even get the sack after such a poor start to the season, but he stressed: “We all decided on a plan during the summer, but the board meeting on Monday was proactive, quite enjoyable at times.

“It was enjoyable listening to people who really care about the football club and who are trying to get solutions and a pathway forward.

“I’ve always had support even when Hilly [former manager Keith Hill] got sacked. I got the support from the owner [Patrick Cryne] when there weren’t many people who were prepared to give me that chance.

“I’ve had support and I’m still getting that. It’s important we now get some momentum and it’s important we get some results quickly.

“We’ve had a siege mentality this week to make sure our own house is in order.

“This week was about trying to galvanise a group so they can be defiant and compete against Leicester.”

Flitcroft swooped to sign England Under-21 international keeper Jack Butland from Stoke City on loan until Boxing Day, while Norwich City midfielder David Fox joined on a similar emergency loan deal.

“We’re going to look to make a couple of changes and freshen things up,” admitted Flitcroft, ahead of his side’s clash with the Foxes.

“We’re going to utilise a squad which as looked tired in games. We’re looking to re-invigorate the team performance by making a couple of changes. The competition is probably the best it’s been.

“But the squad want to fight and I’m certainly rallying a group of players that want to do well with the club.

“With the lack of momentum and lack of confidence that hits you sometimes, it’s important to stimulate.”