Reds hit dead end over new boss

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BARNSLEY FC have taken the unusual step of issuing a statement admitting they’ve “been in a rut”.

The Reds are working tirelessly to recruit a new manager following the resignation of Mark Robins, but so far have hit a dead end in their search.

And with season ticket holders having until the close of play next Tuesday to renew their tickets at Oakwell, the club have sought to outline their plans going forward.

“In our last five seasons in the Championship we have finished between 17th and 20th with a points tally between 50 and 56,” read the statement. “The most common view expressed by fans to board members, echoed in press letter and websites is that our football has become staid and defensive.

“Put frankly, we have been in a rut, which is not good for out business or our fans’ enjoyment of games. We must to better for our fans in terms of the football product.”

Having failed to tempt the much admired Keith Hill away from Rochdale, the Reds made an official approach to Leyton Orient for their manager Russell Slade.

But O’s chairman Barry Hearn denied the request and stressed that he and Slade, who guided the club to seventh in League One last season, had agreed in principal on a new deal to keep him at the Matchroom Stadium.

“Barnsley asked us for permission to speak to Russ, but we declined them,” said Hearn. “Russ is vitally important to this football club and after the season we have just had, we sat down last week and shook hands on a new contract for him.

“We have a job to do here next season and we want Russ at the helm so our response to Barnsley was that they would need to look elsewhere for their next manager.”

Hearn’s refusal for the Reds to speak to Slade has left the club in limbo, with former Charlton Athletic boss Phil Parkinson and former Reds player Steve Agnew still linked with the vacancy which, at the earliest, will not be filled until next week if the club can make headway in the search to find their man.