Reds defiant over Hill link to Leeds job

Keith Hill: 'I would never rule anything out'.            PICTURE: dean atkins

Keith Hill: 'I would never rule anything out'. PICTURE: dean atkins

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BARNSLEY director Don Rowing has quashed rumours that Keith Hill is being lined up to be the next Leeds United manager.

Reds’ boss Hill refused to rule himself out of the running for the vacant Elland Road hot-seat yesterday in his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Birmingham City.

Hill mischievously said: “I would never rule anything out. It’s brilliant with respect to myself, I suppose it proves that people are actually taking note of the job we (Hill and assistant David Flitcroft) are doing at Barnsley.”

But he added: “I’m interested in Barnsley Football Club. I’m interested in my family and looking after David Flitcroft. That’s it. I’m interested in football, put it that way.”

Some bookmakers have offered odds of 6/1 for Hill to be Simon Grayson’s replacement, with former Reds ace Neil Redfearn, ex-Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock and former Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies also heavily linked with the job.

But speaking exclusively to The Star, Rowing said: “I think what Keith said was tongue-in-cheek, he was being a little bit mischievous.

“He’s got a fun sense of humour and I think he was having a little joke.

“It’s great for Keith that he’s getting linked to these jobs because it proves just how good a job he’s doing. He’s assured me of his position and we’ll continue supporting him here in taking the club forward.”

Rowing also said the club had received no approach for Hill’s services and that it was going to be business as usual tomorrow at home to the high-flying Blues, who the Reds nearly beat at St Andrew’s earlier in the season.

“We’ve had no contact with Leeds or any other club, Keith Hill is the Barnsley manager,” added Rowing.

Beaten 2-1 at Watford last Saturday, the Reds return to action searching for their first home win over Birmingham since April 2007.

Winger Jim O’Brien (groin), left-back Jay McEveley (knee) and new midfield signing Stephen Dawson (ankle) remain sidelined.