Managers again in the spotlight for derby encounters

Barnsley boss David Flitcroft
Barnsley boss David Flitcroft
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DERBIES are coming thick and fast for Yorkshire’s six Championship clubs.

Following last night’s encounter between Middlesbrough and Doncaster Rovers at the Riverside come two more lunchtime encounters today.

Barnsley entertain Sheffield Wednesday, the only club in the Football League without a win, and Huddersfield Town host Leeds United.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones says there is no panic as the Owls look to end their winless start to the season at Oakwell.

No wins from their first 12 matches have piled the pressure on Jones. The manager insists everyone, from chairman Milan Mandaric to the players, are together fighting to put things right.

“The chairman’s on your case whether you are at the top, middle or bottom,” he said. “I have never known any different. I talk to the chairman and Paul Aldridge (chief executive) every day, as much as I talk to the players and staff.

“We are all in it together and trying to get out of it. It’s all about staying calm and level-headed.”

While Jones’s position is under scrutiny, Barnsley counterpart David Flitcroft has eased some pressure regarding his own security following last weekend’s much-needed win over Middlesbrough, which cost opposite number Tony Mowbray his job.

The Reds chief says the prospect of the sack is something that does not scare him. He said: “I certainly don’t have fear. I love working and if I fall out of this job and get sacked, I’ll be working somewhere else very quickly. If it’s not in football, then somewhere else.

“I certainly know where I am at. There are so many players here who, as coach, I feel I can change their lives.

“That’s the medium and long-term plan and the short-term one is winning football matches.”

At the John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield are expecting one of their biggest crowds of the season, but they are without banned top scorer James Vaughan.

Town go into the derby on the back of consecutive defeats against Watford and Leicester City. They last tasted victory on September 17 when Charlton Athletic were beaten 2-1.

Manager Mark Robins said: “I know that we need to start picking up points. We have only won three games this season, which isn’t enough.

“We are trying to go about things differently on the field this season and, at times, it has been good to watch. There are bragging rights at stake and the players and I are looking forward to the game.

“It will be an interesting and exciting day. Leeds are a big club with plenty of history, but we are a proud club that has strong traditions.”

United make the trip in confident mood after last Sunday’s 4-0 win over Birmingham City and Robins said: “Leeds will be buoyant after the victory; they played tremendously in a new system (featuring wing-backs). I know the threats that Leeds have, which are even greater following the signing of Dexter Blackstock.”

Match previews: Pages 2-4.