Sheffield Wednesday: Barry Bannan rediscovers top form as Owls march on

Barry Bannan
Barry Bannan
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He was the best player on the pitch.

Virtually everything Barry Bannan did against Queens Park Rangers, with and without the ball, was spot on.

Carlos Carvalhal

Carlos Carvalhal

Boss Carlos Carvalhal utilised Bannan’s qualities in two different positions.

He was stationed on the right wing in the first half. His short and long range passing was immaculate. One delivery he fizzed into the six-yard box deserved more.

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“Barry did well,” conceded Carvalhal. “He started playing on the right because when he does that we feel he can come inside to build and attack and Kieran Lee can jump lines to go and create ruptures in the defence.”

In the second period, Carvalhal opted to mix things up tactically, moving Bannan into the middle of the park and switching Lee to the right.

Carvalhal explained: “After we scored the goal, we put Barry inside and Kieran on the right. Why? Because we were winning and tried to control the game better.

“We wanted Jono [David Jones] and Barry to control the game, with Kieran still pushing on. Both Barry and Kieran did well.”

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It was the perfect response from Bannan to being left out of the match-day squad against Cardiff City last week. Carvalhal felt the 26-year-old needed a breather after his disappointing display away to Huddersfield Town where he was replaced after less than an hour. Bannan was unhappy over coming off and exchanged words with Carvalhal.

When asked if his man of the match performance versus QPR was the response he wanted to see from Bannan, Carvalhal said: “I didn’t need to see any reaction. I have trust in all my players.

“I pick them to perform and play for the team.”

Bannan played his part in helping Wednesday pick up seven points from a week which Carvalhal had described as “probably the hardest” of the season.

Carvalhal said: “I’m very proud of my team. We played three games in different conditions.

“When we played against Cardiff on Wednesday, they played on the Friday before so they had much more time to rest.

“We arrived back at 2 in the morning and then were training six hours later for the QPR game. We had very short time to regenerate between the two games.

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The Owls now don’t have a midweek fixture until December 13.

“We will play once a week for a period which will be good to us,” Carvalhal admitted. “We will have some time to improve things in the team which is very positive.

“What we must do is try to improve our efficiency. We created double the amount of chances that QPR did and we scored just once.

“You have to be 100 per cent concentrated for the games in this league.

“We know we will play a very tough game on Saturday against Derby. It will be difficult. Derby are a strong side.”

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