Keeper's Hammill hope

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BARNSLEY keeper Luke Steele wants sought-after winger Adam Hammill to stay at Oakwell.

But the former Manchester United player admits there is life after Hammill if he does decide to leave the club before the transfer window shuts at the end of this month.

"We really want Adam to stay with us; he's had a great season so far and he's integral to our plans," Steele told The Star.

"But if were to got then we've got Jim O'Brien to come back into the side - and he's a very capable player.

"We'll just have to see what happens this month, but in football you do have to move on sometimes.

"Nobody knows whether Adam's going to go, so we just have to hope he stays."

For once talisman Hammill had a quiet game as the Reds slipped out of the FA Cup with a 2-0 third-round away defeat to West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday.

And it was Steele who was the star of the show with a string of fine saves which almost helped his side clinch a replay.

Steele was outstanding between the posts for the Reds and his reaction blocks frustrated the Hammers who, in truth, could have been four of five goals in front at half-time if had not been for the heroics of the keeper.

Trailing only 1-0 right up until injury time, Hammill had a deflected shot which struck the crossbar and, having survived the scare, the Hammers broke quickly and substitute Frederic Piquionne secured victory with a clinical strike.

"It was a case of 'what if', but we weren't good enough in the first half," added Steele.

"The manager (Mark Robins) had a few words for some of the players at half-time and told them to do better.

"We did play much better in the second half and could have pinched a draw. We hit the crossbar, which unlucky, but then got caught on the counter-attack.

"It's frustrating because we fancied our chances of causing an upset but never performed to our potential."

On his impressive performance, Steele added: "It's nice to make some saves, but ideally it's better when I don't have to do much.

"West Ham started well and they put us under pressure. It took us until after half-time to really get going, there was a big improvement in the second half."