SportsBarnsley FC

Hill: I'm as tired and mentally drained as the players

Keith Hill felt that Doncaster’s pressing game, and the early opening goal, were the key factors in his side’s local derby defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium on Monday.

He admitted that his side looked tired but would not use that as an excuse.

Hill was without the likes of Jacob Butterfield, Danny Drinkwater and Jim O’Brien through injury and could not ‘freshen up’ his team for their second Championship fixture in the space of three days.

He said: “I feel as tired and mentally drained as the players. I could not fault their will, or their determination, but perhaps there was tiredness there. I couldn’t make any changes, we are down to the bare bones. Everyone can see that. I need to try and get some players in to help bolster the squad.

“I was not too disappointed by the performance, only the result and the first 10 or 15 minutes, when Doncaster came at us with their high pressing game.

“Normally we play through the press, and then come out the other side and play our football, but our final ball let us down. Our decision-making in the final third was poor.

“Luke Steele was magnificent for us, as he has been for most of the season. That one-handed save late on from James Coppinger was absolutely superb. He deserved more out of this game.

“Reuben Noble-Lazarus came on in the second half and did well. It’s nice to finally see him back on the pitch. He got an opportunity and he tried his best to take it, but he needs to work hard on his game, especially his defensive responsibility.

“It was another match where we conceded. We need to try and get clean sheets.”

Hill could also be without his skipper Jacob Butterfield for longer than first thought.

The early prognosis on Butterfield’s knee ligament injury against Leeds was that he might be missing for three weeks, but it looks set to be longer.

And speculation is mounting that Danny Haynes, who has fallen out of favour with Hill, could be on his way out of the club in the January transfer window.

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