Mido could provide festive cheer for the Reds

Have your say

KEITH HILL says he is prepared to continue taking the bullets if it means that the pressure is deflected away from his Barnsley players.

The Reds manager, whose 21st-placed side have won just once in the past eight matches heading into this afternoon’s Oakwell derby with neighbours Huddersfield Town, accepts he is under pressure and is willing to take everything which that entails on his broad shoulders.

Hill has received assurances over his future from owner Patrick Cryne and while being adamant he will battle on in a bid to turnaround the Reds’ fortunes, accepts that he is in a results-driven business and that things could change.

Hill, who this week placed a blanket ban on his players speaking to the media, said: “I am brave enough for people to be shooting the bullets at me to protect the players.

“There is a certain amount of pressure players have got to accept in their performance and if they deliver the right type, then I will constantly accept those bullets fired at me.

“But the pressure release will hopefully come with performances and results. Because if not, the pressure will continue to develop on me as it has done on previous managers here.

“There will only be one conclusion to that. There will have to be a change of manager.

“It is reality. I am not trying to create this breaking point. There are the constant questions and the fact we need results to maintain our Championship status and the demands of the division are psychologically huge on the players.”

Meanwhile, Hill says Mido will feature at Oakwell before Christmas, while joking that it will not just be as Santa Claus at the Reds’ Christmas party.

The Egyptian striker is fit again following a serious hamstring injury and has featured in some development matches, but Hill 
is currently reluctant to throw 
him back into the Championship fray due to a lack of match sharpness.

He added: “I don’t believe Mido is match fit at the moment and I have told him that.

“I want him to be fully ready when I do use him. I don’t want it to be ‘the Mido show’ without having something tangible.”

On being questioned about the former Spurs and Middlesbrough forward making an appearance before the festive season, Hill quipped: “Yes. In a white beard at the Christmas party! But in all seriousness, I expect him to feature before Christmas.

“It could be in 20 or 30 minute cameos to provide some inspiration and enthusiasm.”