Sheffield Wednesday: Double act can lead Owls to glory

Gary Hooper and Steven Fletcher

Gary Hooper and Steven Fletcher

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Barry Bannan has backed Owls strikers Steven Fletcher and Gary Hooper to lead the Championship club to glory this season.

In recent weeks, Fletcher and Hooper have formed a productive partnership, linking up well together in the final third. The duo are expected to be paired up front against Ipswich Town today.

Steven Fletcher and Gary Hooper

Steven Fletcher and Gary Hooper

Bannan told The Star: “Fletch and Hoops know each other’s games, and being good mates off the pitch probably helps.

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“That’s showed in recent weeks. In this league you will struggle to find a better partnership; they have played at the highest level. They will be big players for us in the coming weeks.”

Scotland international Fletcher is in a rich vein of form, having netted four goals in his last four outings.

“Fletcher has been brilliant the last couple of weeks, and he has added goals,” said Bannan. “He has scored crucial goals at crucial times.

“I think for any striker, when you are not scoring, that’s what you get judged on.

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“There must have been times when he was down, but he is experienced enough - been around the block - to know if he kept working hard, like he did, that the goals will come. You never lose that quality. He was out of the team for a while, but the players in front of him were doing well.

“It was tough for him, but he has been a great professional, and is back in the team now and getting his rewards.”

Three points at Portman Road will secure the Owls a top-six finish.

Midfielder Bannan said: “Ipswich will be fighting for their starting places next season, so it’s not a nothing game for them. They have only been beaten four times at home, so it will be tough. They are playing without pressure, and sometimes that can work in your favour. We just have to concentrate on ourselves.”

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