DANNY WILSON has hailed the reaction of loan midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong following his debut to forget against Sheffield Wednesday.
The former Arsenal starlet received his marching orders in a nightmare opening to his Reds career at S6 on February 1, but has dusted himself down well since and is starting to show the talent which persuaded Wilson to make a move just before the end of the January transfer window.
The Reds chief, whose side are seeking to record their first back-to-back league wins of the season at the place where they secured safety on a nail-biting final day of 2012-13, said: “I think Emmanuel has been excellent and he is getting better and better in the games he is playing.
“When it happened in his first game, it was a little bit of overexuberance and nothing malicious in what he did; he was just fighting for the cause. He was just a little bit over the top.
“But I think he has learned from it. There have been certain times in games like in the Sheffield Wednesday game, where he did something foolish and you might expect him to get booked again.
“But he has shown a lot of control in a lot of instances in the past few games, which I have been delighted with.
“That goes to prove he is thinking about things.”
Meanwhile, Wilson has also handed a pat on the back to another Reds player in the shape of crowd favourite Paddy McCourt, who was called up by Northern Ireland this week ahead of their friendly clash with Cyprus in Nicosia on Wednesday.
It’s been a bittersweet start to the new year for the former Celtic winger, who has found himself out of the Reds side and languishing on the bench, but Wilson has been at pains to point out that he will get his chance at some point.
Now he has been handed a fillip by his country, which Wilson insists is good news both for man affectionately known as the “Derry Pele” and the club.
He said: “I am delighted for Paddy, no doubt about it. I have spoken to Michael O’Neill at length during the past week.
“Paddy had been carrying a bit of an ankle problem, but he’s okay now and will go over to Ireland and it will be a great boost for him. And a great boost for us as well.
“He goes with our blessing and Paddy will give his all.”
Meanwhile, Reds midfielder Jacob Mellis admits the club have been massively buoyed by last weekend’s vital victory over fellow strugglers Millwall heading into today’s derby at the John Smith’s Stadium.
And he insists that everyone at Oakwell is “very confident” that the club can perform a Great Escape Mark II and secure Championship football for a ninth successive season come May.
He said: “We have got quite a few experienced players and no-one is panicking.
“In January, we added quite a lot of good players, loan and permanent signings, and we’re very confident (of staying up).
“It’s been a stop-start season. Obviously Flicker (David Flitcroft) left and Danny has brought in his own feel to the team and his own players.
“But we should feel the season strongly, I hope.”