Terrible Tykes trigger Hill
KEITH Hill paid the ultimate price last night as this latest defeat saw him sacked by Barnsley.
Another dismal performance – this time against managerless Rovers who came through thanks to goals from Josh King, Ruben Rochina and Jordan Rhodes – proved too much for the board at Oakwell and they broke the news to Hill half-anhour after the final whistle.
Following a run of just one win in 14 games and having just watched his team slump to the Championship’s basement, Tykes director and general manager Don Rowing said: “It’s not a very nice thing to have to tell someone, but we have just dispensed with Keith’s services.
“It is a resultsbased decision, one which all of the board members backed.
“We have seen some good attacking football at Barnsley since Keith joined us 18 months ago, but looking at our league position now, it was clear a change was required before it’s too late.
“Keith has been under pressure for some time, but this was particularly disappointing and the outcome forced us into a decision.
“Keith is a super footballing man, but we couldn’t let the situation get any worse so we all just wish him all the best for the future now. It saddens me, but overall things haven’t worked out as we all would have liked.”
Two badly struggling sides meant there was an air of tension on all four sides of Oakwell, and that clearly made its way through to the players as they produced a miserable first half.
Rovers coped with the atmosphere better, however, and against the lowest scorers in the Championship so far, led 2-0 at the break.
The opening goal came just before the half-hour mark as Manchester United loanee King left Scott Wiseman and Stephen Foster for dead before slotting an angled effort past Luke Steele.
The boos were turned up a significant notch two minutes before the interval as Rochina strolled comfortably past Wiseman before driving home low and hard past Steele.
Still there was little craft or invention from the hosts in the second period, but after Rochina had fluffed a great chance, the Tykes grabbed themselves a lifeline in the 76th minute as Stephen Dawson drilled a shot into the top corner.
They briefly rallied, but it didn’t last long and another defensive mix-up was punished deep into stoppage-time as Rhodes was allowed to burst through the heart of the defence before sliding a shot past Steele from the edge of the box.
Managerless Rovers might have bagged only their second win in 11 games, but it still wasn’t enough to appease the travelling fans who chanted their disdain for Indian owners Venky’s almost throughout the game, with global advisor Shebby Singh copping for the fiercest flack.
But on the field caretaker boss Gary Bowyer was delighted.
He said: “That was a brilliant win for the lads. It’s been a difficult week for everyone, but they've been great in training.
“The level of performance was first class throughout, and I was particularly pleased with the way the lads threw their bodies on the line.
“It’s a great way to end 2012 I suppose, but we've got to try and repeat that kind of effort on Tuesday now.”
ROLLERCOASTER ROVERS: Marcus Olsson celebrates after Jordan Rhodes (hidden) has scored the third goal for Blackburn