Hill in frame for vacant Reds post

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BARNSLEY’s search for a new manager continues with Rochdale boss Keith Hill now heavily favoured with the vacant position.

Hill, who guided the Lancashire club to promotion to League One, has also been linked with the manager’s job at South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United.

But yesterday Rochdale chief executive poured cold water on speculation that the Spotland club were about to lose their leading man.

“There’s been no approach for the services of Keith Hill from Barnsley, Sheffield United or any other club for that matter,” stressed Garlick.

“Keith and I have been working together as normal, signing up players on new contracts and drawing up plans for pre-season.

“We’ve had this kind of speculation before with Crystal Palace in January but Keith Hill is Rochdale manager and is doing an outstanding job.”

Hill, 42, steered Dale to their first promotion since 1969 two seasons ago and then guided the club to ninth in their first season in League One.

He became caretaker manager of Rochdale in December 2006 following the sacking of Steve Parkin, was appointed permanent boss in early January 2007 and has revitalised the club with David Flitcroft as his able right hand man.

As a player, Hill started his career with Blackburn Rovers, making nearly 100 appearances as a centre-back, before long spells with Plymouth Argyle and Rochdale.

He also played for Morecambe Town, Wrexham and Cheltenham.

But Barnsley have yet to draw up a shortlist for a replacement for Mark Robins who who resigned on Sunday because he was believed to be frustrated with the transfer budget at his disposal.

Rumours former Newcastle United boss Chris Hughton has applied for the job and ex West Brom manager Roberto Di Matteo are untrue.

But The Star does know that ex Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell and former Sheffield Wednesday manager’s Brian Laws and Alan Irvine have put their hats in the ring for the position.

Reds director Don Rowing, in revealing that there have been over 30 applicants for the job, said that none of the manager’s who had applied had Premier League experience.

“There’s been a sprinkling from the Championship down to the lower leagues,” Rowing told The Star. “We’ve had interest from abroad, but we’ve not yet drawn up our shortlist. The plan, though, is to hopefully start interviewing for Mark Robins’ replacement next week.

“We’re close to getting our shortlist and they we’ll hopefully be able to go and get our man.”