Barnsley: Reds players ‘devastated’ by dismissal

Farewell gaffer: Reds goalie  Luke Steele. Picture: Keith Turner.
Farewell gaffer: Reds goalie Luke Steele. Picture: Keith Turner.
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LUKE Steele believes he and his teammates should take the blame for Keith Hill’s sacking.

Hill was relieved of his duties after Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Blackburn Rovers, a result which saw the Reds plummet to the foot of the table.

Steele admitted: “The results haven’t been good enough, but the players should take the wrap. We feel we let him down. I’m gutted for the guy, but at no stage did he lose the dressing room. Keith came in to see us after he’d been sacked and he was really gracious. He wished us luck for the rest of the season and told us he believes in us.

“It was really sad. It was hard for all of us. The gaffer did his best and has worked really hard. He’s had the backing of the team and everyone has been behind him, but he’s been under pressure because of our results – and we feel to blame. We’re all devastated he’s been sacked but we’ve got to keep faith and keep working to turn around our season. We all know it’s not been good enough, but only we can change it.”

The Reds visit Peterborough United tomorrow with assistant boss David Flitcroft taking caretaker charge of the team following Hill’s departure.

And having won just won of their last 14 games, Flitcroft knows he has his work cut out to get the Reds firing against Posh.

The Reds will be without loan forward Emile Sinclair because is ineligible to play against his parent club, although his loan deal at Oakwell doesn’t expire until January 19.

Striker Marcus Tudgay has a broken collar bone and has returned to Nottingham Forest, while Akos Buzsaky’s loan deal has not been extended. The club could revisit a longer loan deal for Buzsaky, but that depends on who the club appoint as new manager.

Midfielder Jonathan Greening, the only other loan player still at Oakwell, could return to the starting line-up despite having not started in the club’s defeat to Rovers. Midfielder Paul Digby remains sidelined with a thigh injury, while Martin Cranie is missing with a knee injury. Defender Rob Edwards is missing with a hamstring injury, but Jacob Mellis could return.