Flitcroft 'haunted' by Etuhu injury
Barnsley manager David Flitcroft admitted an injury to Kelvin Etuhu overshadowed his side's 3-1 FA Cup fifth-round win over MK Dons and also revealed a home supporter was ejected for abusing one of his players.
A Chris Dagnall brace and a Marlon Harewood effort saw Barnsley advance with Dean Bowditch scoring a consolation for the hosts, who had Alan Smith sent off late on. But Flitcroft's thoughts after the match were very much centred on the injury to Etuhu, who was stretchered off after a clash of heads with Adam Chicksen.
"I think it threw my players quite emotionally, it can do that to a team," he said. "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 okay, he is stable."
Flitcroft said the injury was a bad one and something he will not forget in a hurry.
"You certainly don't want to be involved in anything unsavoury and it certainly was," he said. "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."
Flitcroft said he had also been informed one of his players had been abused by an MK Dons fan and stepped in to defend his man, with the supporter escorted out of the stadium as a result of other crowd members reporting him to stewards.
"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," he said. "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."
MK Dons are expected to release a statement in regards to the issue and Flitcroft would not confirm which player was abused, although he did say it could be an "alleged racist incident".
The result puts Barnsley into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and Flitcroft admitted he had pushed his players hard in the lead up to the match.
"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," he said. "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 masterclass."
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