Derby-day keeper wants to win it for the fans

Tykes: Barnsley latest news.
Tykes: Barnsley latest news.
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BARNSLEY goalkeeper Luke Steele wants to send the club’s loyal supporters home happy with a South Yorkshire derby win to shout about this evening.

The Reds lock horns with Rovers in the first of what will be the only two South Yorkshire derby clashes this season, with Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday plying their trade in League One.

And, being one of the club’s longest-serving players Steele, who has been tipped as a future England goalkeeper, is well aware how important derby matches are to the fans and the players.

“You want to send your fans home with something to cheer about,” he stressed. “We always make sure the new lads know that playing Doncaster is not just another fixture; the atmosphere is a lot different because it’s a derby.

“Derbies are really important to the fans, but just as important to us, especially for the players that have been at the club for a while.

“The players who have been here longer feel the passion and the intensity from the fans and everybody.

“There’s also that added bonus when you win these games; it’s fantastic when you win but horrible when you don’t.”

The Reds have a good record against Rovers, having won four of the last six fixtures between the sides to deserve their local bragging rights.

And last season the hosts twice fought back from behind to snatch at 2-2 draw at Oakwell.

“In our eyes there’s more emphasis on doing well and winning,” added Steele. “Then we’ve got another derby straight after [against Leeds United], so it’s exciting.

“It was sad Sheffield Wednesday got relegated because that was one of my favourite games.”