Reds Manager Keith Hill met with the press this morning ahead of Saturday’s South Yorkshire derby at home to Sheffield Wednesday.
The only injured players for Hill is midfielder Jacob Mellis, who is struggling with a dead leg, as Hill said, “We’re very cautious about that because it’s a severe dead leg. If he gets contact on that he’s out. We can’t expect him to train with a competitive edge then play him and within ten minutes of starting a game, he has to come back off.”
Local derby aside, both teams are desperate for a win to end a poor run, but Hill is relishing the prospect of facing the Owls at Oakwell.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he continued. “You used to like playing in these sorts of situations. Men have got to be men.
“There’s got to be an intelligent energy. We’re looking forward to the challenge.
“This one football match won’t decide the fate of the football club.
“I’m looking for brave performers, and there will be, because I trust the players one-hundred per cent.
“I can’t wait for the atmosphere, to be honest.”
“There’s pressure to management, but I’ve not considered it with respect to my own position at this football club.
“There’s pressure to the game with respect to supporters and what they want. There’s pressure on the players.
“I’m really surprised and I think Dave Jones is surprised (At Wednesday’s form). Their ambition was to maybe do what Southampton did, and they’ve found it tough.
“Maybe they’ve had to adjust their sights a little bit.
“’Premier League two’ can halt you in your stride, and they’ve found the expectation a little difficult.
“The job of being a manager is difficult anyway without and other manager commenting on him.
“He’s been in a very, very successful manager.
“I don’t want to go too much into the opposition. I want to give them a lot of respect.”
Barnsley’s on loan striker Marcus Tudgay is particularly looking forward to this fixture insists Hill, with the Forest loanee having spent almost five years at Hillsborough.
“He’s looking forward to the game, as are the rest of the players,” Hill added.
“It was a difficult decision for me last week to leave him out against Leicester, but I selected a team to get as many points as we could. I looked at their team and tried to stop their threats. I’ll do that again this weekend whether that includes Marcus or not.”
Finally, Hill has stressed the importance of supporters supporting his side this Saturday as his troops go head to head with the Owls for the first time in a competitive fixture in just less than three years.
“They can play a massive role,” said Hill. “Support the players, support the 11 players that we start the game with. Support them if we’re winning, support them if we’re losing. Support them if they’re reflecting a staple diet of hard work, endeavour and honesty. No finger-pointing or blaming other people.”