Sheffield Wednesday: Barry Bannan hails the ‘best and happiest’ spell of his career

Barry Bannan

Barry Bannan

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Barry Bannan believes he has been on the best streak of form of his career since joining Sheffield Wednesday – and the happiest.

The popular midfielder is currently away on international duty with Scotland, looking to cement a regular starting berth in Gordon Strachan’s side along with Owls team mate Steven Fletcher.

And he does so in confident mood after his success with Wednesday over the last year.

“My confidence is high and I’m playing every week,” Bannan told the Edinburgh Evening News.

“I would say this is probably the best I’ve played over a long spell.

“I don’t see why I can’t make an impression with Scotland.”

The 26-year-old believes Owls head coach Carlos Carvalhal’s philosophy of positive, possession football has brought out the best in him and is a big reason behind his impressive run of form.

He said: “The style the manager plays is perfect.

“He’s a foreign coach so we play a lot of possession football.

“It suits me down to a tee.

“I’m probably a ball player. I’ve really enjoyed it and it’s probably the happiest I’ve been in football.

“We have a few shorter guys who are more technical like Ross Wallace and Fernando Forestieri.

“I think your work rate has to be a lot better than the opposition to overcome that.

“I think one of the biggest parts of my game is my work rate.

“If a game is going to be physical, I’ve got to make up for it in other ways.

“I do that by running about and being a nuisance really, rather than going in for tackles and pushing people over.”

Bannan is hoping to add to his 21 caps for Scotland in World Cup qualifying in Malta on Sunday.

Despite being involved in squads for qualifying campaigns for the last three major tournaments, Bannan has yet to enjoy regular starts for his country.

Boss Strachan has said previously the Airdrie-born midfielder needs to add more goals to his game in order to earn regular caps.

Bannan is determined to impress Strachan at the start of qualifying in order to stay in his thoughts.

“I’m here trying to impress the manager,” he said. “I want to cement a starting spot in the squad.

“I’m on top of my game right now so it’s a great chance to get a starting place.

“This is the start of a new campaign as well.

“If you start here and do well, you could be in for the rest of the campaign.

“That’s my aim. I want to play a big part in this campaign.

“I love coming away with Scotland. It breaks up the club football and it’s encouraging that I’ve been called up for such a massive game.

“We know what we’ve got in this squad and we’re confident.”

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