Atmosphere stinks with supporters’ negativity

Barnsley FC

Barnsley FC

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BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill has slammed the “negativity” he has detected at the club ever since stepping through the door.

The Reds take on Middlesbrough at the Riverside tonight boosted by a battling draw with Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

And although four key players remain sidelined with injury, Hill is refusing to let any negativity derail his ambitions to retain their Championship status and, if possible, achieve a top half finish. “There seems to be negativity with respect to the players and the position where we are in the league,” said Hill.

“There seems to be no sense of realisation or relativity. It stinks at times! There’s too much pressure on the players. The players are responsible for performances because they get paid well for performing, but you cannot perform with creativity and express yourself in the right manner under negative pressure. I’ve witnessed and experienced a lot of negativity around the club.

“We’re in transition and we’re building, but it seems to get lost in the wash. Nobody seems to want to listen. It’s difficult for me to accept the criticism of our players when they’re giving everything. We’re trying to build within our financial restrictions.

“The teams below us in the relegation zone have to win an average two points per game to stay up– and that’s Championship promotion form.

“It’s highly-unlikely they’re going to do it, although one team might.

“If you look at the league, 42 points took you down last season and 43 points kept you safe. After 34 games last season the bottom three were on 31 or 32 points, so those teams have got a lot to do.”

Midfielders David Perkins (knee) and Nathan Doyle (calf injury), defender Bobby Hassell (knee) and winger Jim O’Brien (groin) will not feature, although Hill is hopeful one or two of those players could return for Southampton on Saturday.

“We’ve got a lot of difficult games coming up, but we’re a depleted squad,” added Hill.

“I’m going to try and recruit a few new faces in the loan market just to give us that extra enthusiasm and rotational opportunities.”