Barnsley boss Danny Wilson has praised midfielder Stephen Dawson for apologising for his uncharacteristic reaction after the club’s heavy defeat to Huddersfield Town.
Dubliner Dawson, a well-respected member of the Reds’ squad, was involved in an angry confrontation with one Barnsley fan after the final whistle of the club’s 5-0 loss to the Terriers at the John Smith’s Stadium.
But the Irishman has since apologised for not being “professional enough to take that” – he allegedly received personal abuse from the fan - and has also made a sizeable charitable donation to Barnsley Hospice.
“We all get caught up in the heat of the moment, but Stephen knows what he did was wrong and he’s done the right thing by apologising,” Wilson told The Star.
“It’s hard when there’s abuse, especially personal, but we all need to be bigger and better than that and turn the other way.
“It’s brilliant he’s come out and apologised so soon and given a generous donation to charity.
“Hopefully we can now move on from this and focus our efforts on Saturday and getting three points against Nottingham Forest. The fans have been brilliant with us this season and it’s important they stick with us.”
The Reds host fifth-placed Forest in the first of what will be three home games in their next four fixtures this month.
And Wilson knows the importance of making home advantage count against Forest, followed by other home clashes with Championship leaders Leicester City and, after an away clash with Watford, a home game with Bournemouth. The Reds have won just four times at home this term.
“It’s important we perform at home, these home games are massive for us,” stressed Wilson.
“Some of our performances have been very good, but we know we need to improve and on Saturday I hope we have a really good go at them [Forest].
“Billy Davies has built a strong squad and, even though they’ve got a lot of injuries, we know they’ll be tough to beat. But we’re not scared of the challenge.”