Hill hopes recognition will raise Barnsley appreciation

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BARNSLEY manager Keith Hill admits he is “really pleased” to be linked with the vacant post at Blackpool and believes it is a mark of respect for the job he is doing at Oakwell.

Bookmakers have made the former Rochdale chief one of the favourites for the Seasiders’ job following the exit of Ian Holloway, with the likes of Owen Coyle and Paul Ince also figuring prominently.

Tykes director Don Rowing confirmed yesterday that Barnsley have received no official approach from Blackpool.

On the link, Hill – whose 20th-placed side lost 1-0 at Hull City on Saturday – said: “I am really pleased, to be honest, because people might start respecting what job I am actually doing and trying to achieve on limited resources.

“When I say limited, I mean limited and it is recognised in the footballing world so I am really pleased. People might start not wishing for something else and actually start backing us in respect of what we are trying to do and develop here.

“It does not mean I am interested, but it means I am pleased there is a bit of recognition as it is very difficult to compete on limited resources in the Championship when there is so much money swishing around. Even going for loan players, you cannot even match a percentage of wages.”

Meanwhile, Hill explained his decision to drop beleaguered goalkeeper Ben Alnwick.

He insisted recent criticism of the player, both in the media and from fans, had been wholly unfair, and revealed he had rested Alnwick to remove him from the firing line.

Hill, who on Saturday handed Luke Steele his first start since mid-March, said: “Ben is an outstanding goalkeeper. But he has been put under pressure from certain sections of supporters and media.

“It has been a shame really; what he has experienced has been a little bit nasty and wrong.

“There has been an underhanded frenzy for Luke to be put back in and it is not fair.

“Ben has not experienced the psychological pressure he has been put under (before).”

Given the owners’ blessing to bring in a couple of loan recruits to boost the Tigers’ squad – with injured duo Joe Dudgeon and Matty Fryatt out for the season – Hull City chief Steve Bruce revealed no headway has yet been made.

Bruce, linked with former Tigers loanee Robbie Brady, said: “I would love to say we are close to something, but unfortunately, we are not.

“I will not just bring people in to make up the numbers.

“We have to add to the quality we have got.”