Barnsley manager David Flitcroft has told journalists that he is delighted to have reached the quarter finals of the FA Cup, but is finding it hard to celebrate due to two separate incidents at Stadium:MK today.
Flicker pointed to the potentially serious injury suffered to Reds midfielder Kelvin Etuhu after a nasty clash of heads in the 51st minute of the 3-1 with over Milton Keynes Dons.
He also was upset by a gesture made by a home supporter, presumably towards Reds goalscorer Marlon Harewood after TV footage showed the striker communicating with a fan behind the dugout, and then showed a fan being escorted from the ground.
Flitcroft told the press:
"I think it threw my players quite emotionally, it can do that to a team," he said, of Etuhu's injury. "It worried me to be honest. When he came past me he wasn't unconscious but he wasn't responding initially.
"MK Dons' staff were impeccable and were very professional in the way they dealt with it. He has gone to hospital for a check but he is OK, he is stable.
"You certainly don't want to be involved in anything unsavoury and it certainly was. Kelvin is a tough boy and when you see him flat out on the pitch and coming past on a stretcher with blood strewn over his nose and face, it is something that will probably haunt me."
"I felt one of the fans was having a go at one of my players so I responded in the heat of the moment, I will protect my players to the hilt,"
"I think MK Dons are looking into the incident. I just asked if a gesture had been made could the man be taken out of the stadium.
"The result meant everything, there has been so much detail and planning over a week now and we have put a lot of effort in.
"I have asked the players to sacrifice seeing their families and we went to see Doncaster against MK Dons, and I'm absolutely delighted with the players. The first half was a master-class."
A joint Milton Keynes Dons and Barnsley FC statement read:Milton Keynes Dons Football Club and Barnsley Football Club are currently liaising with Thames Valley Police regarding an alleged offensive gesture made by a spectator at today’s FA Cup match at stadiummk. The spectator in question has been interviewed by Police; currently Thames Valley Police have no evidence to suggest the alleged gesture was of a racist nature. MK Dons will continue to monitor footage of the area where the alleged incident took place. Barnsley Football Club has placed on record its thanks to MK Dons FC, the stewards and the police for their professional and efficient handling of the situation. Both MK Dons Football Club and Barnsley Football Club are committed to making football a family friendly environment and will not tolerate abusive or aggressive behaviour of any nature. No further comment will be made at this stage. Barnsley won the fifth round tie with two goals from Chris Dagnall and one from Harewood.