Goalkeeper Luke Steele has told the Chronicle he feels like a ‘waste’ on the Barnsley bench but his confidence has been boosted after the club rejected a loan bid from Sheffield United last week.
Manager Keith Hill insists he wants to keep Steele – who is out of contract next summer – but says that Ben Alnwick deserves to be playing. Steele, 28, says he has a good relationship with both Hill and Alnwick but admits he needs to play football and could move on if things stay as they are.
“I feel like I am a waste at the moment,” said Steele, who has not played this season but is now fully fit after recovering from a groin injury.
“I am in the best shape I could be in and I want to be playing. I don’t want to be on the bench. I find it frustrating and horrible. If it carries on a lot longer then I might have to consider leaving, even though I don’t want to.
"There is no argument with Keith Hill. I have said all this to him. I love this club and I like the manager a lot and it is totally his call to pick Ben who is doing a very solid job.
“I don’t want to become rivals with Ben. I am totally focussed on doing my job which, at the moment, is to support the number one goalkeeper and do as well as I can in training.
“Sheffield United came in for me on loan last week but the club didn’t let me go. That was an opportunity to play football but, on the other hand, the fact that Barnsley said no gives me confidence that I am still wanted.”
When contacted by the Chronicle this week, Hill insisted he wanted Steele to stay.Hill said: “Luke Steele’s future does not lie elsewhere. “He missed the majority of pre-season through injury and Ben Alnwick has come in and done really well. We want to keep the majority of players and we will definitely sit down with Luke and talk to him about a new contract. ”