Defiant Wilson fosters siege mentality at Reds

Barnsley's Kelvin Etuhu
Barnsley's Kelvin Etuhu
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DEFIANT Barnsley boss Danny Wilson has called on his Reds players to carry on proving their doubters wrong in their quest to stage another Great Escape from Championship relegation.

Many observers, including a significant sections of their own supporters, were quick to write off the Oakwell outfit’s chances of staving off the drop in the wake of a painful weekend home loss to Bournemouth.

But despite a growing number being quick to administer the last rites to their hopes of second-tier survival for the ninth successive season after the Cherries loss – and several others which have preceded it – Wilson says his players never doubted that they can stay up once again, regardless of their predicament.

Wilson said: “I am not too convinced that (many) people believe us.

“But inside the dressing room, we have got great belief.

“Whether everybody wants to come with us; that’s up to them.

“Whatever people think of us, it won’t change my opinion or sway it whatsoever. We have got a terrific chance of staying up.

“When you see the performance like we had at Reading, I think you can understand why I say it.”

The victory against the play-off chasing Royals was just the Reds’ second League win on their travels this term and first in Wilson’s second spell at Oakwell and he was quick to hail several players who came in from the sidelines to make significant contributions to the success in Berkshire.

Top of the list was Kelvin Etuhu, who played his first game of 2014 in an unaccustomed role of right-back and scorer Ruben Noble-Lazarus, who netted just the third goal of his professional career in his eighth appearance of 2013-14.

Wilson, whose side moved off the bottom with victory, said: “We had players who came into the team who were absolutely top-drawer.

“Kelvin was absolutely brilliant. He’s been out of the picture for so long.

“He’s come in to play in a strange position and he’s acted and conducted himself like a true professional. I tip my hat off to him.

“I said to him: ‘Do you fancy playing in this role and he said: ‘I’ll play anywhere.’ That was all I wanted to hear and music to my ears.”