Sheffield Wednesday: Carvalhal’s pride as Owls cope well without key player Bannan

Carlos Carvalhal and Barry Bannan
Carlos Carvalhal and Barry Bannan
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Sheffield Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal had admitted he had concerns about how his team would cope in the absence of influential midfielder Barry Bannan.

However, Carvalhal’s fears never materialised and the Portuguese has praised the Owls players for their performances since Bannan was sent off against Nottingham Forest.

The Scot received a three-match ban for his challenge and in those games missed, Wednesday have beaten Charlton, Huddersfield and, on Tuesday night, Blackburn Rovers.

Bannan is now back in the frame for a return to action in this weekend’s clash at Ashton Gate against Bristol City and while Carvalhal is happy to have one of his star men available, the boss was more pleased by the efforts over the past few games.

“Barry is an important player to us and everyone was a little concerned what would happen in the three games without him,” said Carvalal.

“We gave a strong answer, winning the three games he missed.

“We are happy that Barry is coming back. But our team, during the season, can win without most players.

“We are acting like a team. It is a collective game. It is not tennis. We play each other. It depends on one another and creating a good atmosphere and big soul.”

He added: “We are happy when we are with the full squad and have all the options. Of course, we are happy. I’m happy when I have all the squad.

“I prefer to be with all the players. It makes it more difficult for me to choose the players.”

Skipper Glenn Loovens is a major doubt for the trip to Bristol City on Saturday, having suffered an ankle injury in the 2-1 win over Rovers, while midfielder Sam Hutchinson, who has been suffering from a fever, is again expected to miss out