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Steele: ‘I have to win points for us or we will go down’

By Doug O'Kane, Sports Editor Friday 21st February 2014
Captain Luke Steele pulls off a save to deny Burnley.

Goalkeeper Luke Steele admits this is the worst position the Reds have been in since he joined the club six years ago to the week but believes they will stay up and that he will play a crucial role.

 

The 29-year-old has faced relegation battles to varying degrees in all of his seven seasons at Oakwell. He said: "This is the worst situation we have been in in terms of points. I think at this point last year we had already gone on a good run.  It is a bad position to be in. But we are only five points behind with a game in hand and we have the fourth-bottom team next so we can get back into it.  We have had some good results in terms of draws and there have been a lot of positive things in 2014 so far."

 

Steele – who was at fault for Doncaster's first goal on Saturday – was one of the heroes of last season's 'great escape' with a penalty save in the 2-1 home win over Brighton and several other man of the match performances. He has struggled with injury this season but is now fully fit and knows he will have to produce similar superb displays to keep his club up.

 

Steele said: "There are no excuses anymore. I have been giving a lot of six or seven out of ten performances apart from at Donny where I made a bad error. I need to start giving eight or nine out of ten.  I have to win points for us or we will go down. I have a big part to play in keeping us up.

 

"I look back to the games against Brighton and Forest and Palace last season. I made a good save at Cardiff then Fozzy (Stephen Foster) scored in the last minute and we drew. There hasn't been enough games this season when someone has won us the three points with an outstanding performance and I need to start doing that. "We need match-winners and I can be one of those."

 

Steele has not played lower than the Championship since beginning his career with hometown club Peterborough, who were relegated at the Reds' expense on the dramatic final day of last season.

 

He said: "I was back in Peterborough last summer and every time I drove past London Road I thought 'well done Luke' because they are a League One club and I play in the Championship. I never want to go to League One and I never want this club to go to League One. There are people that say it would be better if we went down to and rebuilt. Rubbish.

 

"We need to stay in the Championship. I'm waiting for that season when we stay out of the relegation zone for the whole season and move up the table. At the moment we haven't got that run together like we did last season and it's looking doom and gloom but everybody knows that we can do it."