Danny Wilson is set for a hero’s welcome when he makes his second match-day bow at Oakwell as Barnsley manager on Boxing Day.
But the 53-year-old hopes that the anticipation surrounding his return to a club he took to the Premier League 16 years ago will not interfere with the Tykes’ priority of gaining three points against Bolton Wanderers.
Wilson endured an unhappy exit from Sheffield United in April, leaving the Blades sitting fifth in League One, and heading for the play-offs.
Since then David Weir was also sacked after a poor start to the season, and Nigel Clough is trying to rebuild the Bramall Lane side.
It is a subject Wilson is keen to forget.
“We move on, onwards and upwards,” he said. “They will have their reasons, they want to move on as I want to move on, so let’s focus all our energies on what’s in front of us now.
“I know everybody is making a big deal about this (me coming back), and that’s fair enough, but really it all comes down to how the fans support the players when they get out on the pitch.
“We know how Oakwell is like. Two home games coming up, they will be pivotal in how we push on.
“I have absolutely do doubt in my mind that it will be absolutely brilliant out there.
“That’s what it’s about, fans supporting the players. From the touchline, I wish I could score a goal, but I can’t – I couldn’t score anyway, I wish I could – it’s the players who will formulate wins.
“Hopefully this is a really positive time for the club and the fans can get behind the players and push us up the league.
“I don’t think the enthusiasm has ever waned. I have always believed in my ability to manage.”
So has the manager’s return to employment ruined any plans for a Christmas trip or festive parties?
“We always have a quiet Christmas really, get family together, so there’s nothing really upset there,” he smiled.
“It’s always a football time anyway. When you have had it for 35 years, it’s not another day, but it does seem like it when you are playing.
“You have to prepare properly, put the festivities to one side, and in most cases most pros do that.”
Wilson rejected several opportunities to return to management before his “dream” return to Barnsley.
“Through courtesy I spoke to a few clubs, but it didn’t seem to be the right one at the time,” said Wilson. “We graciously said thank you and moved on. But when Barnsley came along there was no question that I was always going to accept if I was offered the job.
“It seems a bit ironic that I am back here, but it’s an area where I just feel so comfortable.
“The people around me, although there’s not a lot of people who were here from before, the atmosphere is the same.”