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Championship

Hill welcomes Blackpool link

4 November 2012

Barnsley boss Keith Hill admitted he is "really pleased" to have been linked with the vacant Blackpool manager's job after watching his side slip to a 1-0 defeat at Hull.

Sone Aluko's fifth goal of the season after 16 minutes proved crucial as in-form Hull moved up to fifth in the npower Championship with a fourth win in five matches. After surviving a first-half onslaught, Barnsley controlled the game for long spells in the second half but a lack of cutting edge frustrated Hill.

"It pleases me no end," Hill said about the reports linking his name with Blackpool, who have lost Ian Holloway to Crystal Palace.

"People might start respecting the job I'm doing on limited resources - and I mean really limited. It doesn't mean I'm interested, but I'm really pleased. It's very difficult on limited resources in the Championship where there's so much money swishing around. We have to develop players, and then we sell them."

Barnsley have now won only once in their last seven games and Hill admitted: "We were beaten by a better side. Especially in the first half, we couldn't match the opposition and gave the ball away too much.

"We looked nervy in the first half and it did look like we had lost a bit of confidence - and that is not something I have seen before. But to get to half-time with the score at 1-0 gave us hope. The goal was self-inflicted to be honest. It's a misplaced header from John Stones and he's made a mistake, but he will get better and better.

"We could not get a foothold in the game in the first half. Their three midfield players dominated and did not allow us to get our strikers into the game. We did get the strikers into the game in the second half and we did better."

Hull manager Steve Bruce hailed match-winner Aluko, but bemoaned his side's inability to kill off Barnsley.

He said: "Aluko is a good player and was a delight to work with when he was 16 [at Birmingham, where Bruce was manager at the time]. Perhaps it has taken him time to develop and time to grow, but he's a naturally gifted footballer who has been great for us so far and could perform at the highest level.

"The better team won, thankfully, but we just needed a second goal and that has been our Achilles heel at times this season. To be fair to Barnsley, in the second half they had better possession, but I still think that we had the better chances. It often happens that when you are chasing a second goal things can get a little bit anxious."


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