Barnsley: Kevin can help Reds end Long wait for victory

Kevin Long (left)
Kevin Long (left)

Barnsley swooped to strengthen their defence yesterday with the signing of centre-back Kevin Long.

The 25-year-old joined the Reds on an initial one-month loan spell from Championship side Burnley until December 19 with Reds’ boss Lee Johnson keen to plug the gaps in his side’s leaky defence.

Long became the second defender to sign for the Reds in the space of three days with Aidan White having joined on loan from South Yorkshire neighbours Rotherham United until January 3.

The Reds have lost their last eight league games in a row and conceded a worrying 17 goals in the process.

And although a welcome win over York City in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy – which sees the club through to the northern area semi-finals – Johnson knows he must turn things around in the league with his side languishing second from bottom in League One.

“Kevin’s going to be a good addition to our squad,” said Johnson, who has worked hard to bring in two new signings this week.

“He’s a big strong lad, solid and really composed on the ball, which is what we’re looking for.

“He’s had a good start to his career. He’s had a couple of good loan spells then unfortunately got injured for Burnley at Newcastle.

“But he’s fit now and raring to go. There’s nothing wrong with knee and he’s had a full pre-season and played quite a few games. He’s hungry to get in and play some first team football.

“We’ve conceded too many goals this season and we need to sure up that back line.

“We’ve brought in Aidy White and now Kevin to do that. Both of them coming in gives us options for different formations, which is helpful.

Tomorrow’s away clash with his former club Oldham Athletic is the perfect opportunity for the Reds to get back on track, with the Latics also struggling for form in 18th place.

The Latics are unbeaten in their last three matches in all competitions, but they have not won at home in the league since they beat Fleetwood Town at Boundary Park on August 15, some three months ago.

“The players need to get going again,” stressed Johnson. “We’re in a good place squad-wise now and I’m pleased we’ve got competition for places.

“But we need to kick on and what better game to kick on than this game.

“This game is not about me going back to Boundary Park though, it’s about the players getting a win.

“I still don’t understand the animosity towards me because I left very amicably, but I certainly don’t hold any grudges.

“I’ll be going there fully focused and trying to help the team get the win.

“A win would be massive, there’s no doubt about that. I need it, we all need it.

“It’s hurting that we’re not winning, so we’re not going to rest up and hope something happens. We’ve got to try and make the difference.”