Keith Hill feels it is unfair for upcoming prodigy John Stones to be exposed to Barnsley's recent troubled plight in the Championship.
Stones, who has been linked with a move to a number of Premier League clubs, has been the bright light in a disappointing season for the Reds, who have lost six of their last eight games and reside in the bottom three.
And Hill is desperate to for his 18-year-old right-back to play without fear.
"He is a strong character but we can't be chipping away and creating negative," he said. "We have to give him the opportunity to express himself and play fear-free.
"But where we are at this moment in time, we are fighting and I think it is unfair for a young man to be put into this situation of a real man's position.
"When he is playing fear-free then he will progress and I will manage that and take as much of the pressure as much as I can. He is a fabulous football player and he will progress."