Sheffield Wednesday: No Wembley talk for Owls

Barry Bannan.
Barry Bannan.
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Barry Bannan is unwilling to contemplate the possibility of leading Sheffield Wednesday to Wembley despite their eye-catching victory over Arsenal.

The Owls booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup after brushing aside the Gunners 3-0 in front of a capacity crowd at Hillsborough on Tuesday.

Victory means Carlos Carvalhal’s side, who travel to Premier League Stoke City in the next round of the tournament, are potentially three matches away from reaching a showpiece final.

But Scotland international Bannan insists Wednesday cannot afford to think about what may lie ahead.

The midfielder told The Star: “We are not even thinking about Wembley. It is far, far too early. The quarter-finals are next and that is all we can think about in terms of the competition.

“Taking one game at a time has served us well in the past so we will continue to do just that.”

On the Owls’ draw, Bannan, an inspired free transfer recruit from Crystal Palace, added: “I wasn’t bothered who we got. I am looking at Nottingham Forest on Saturday. Obviously, we had one eye on the draw but the league is the priority now.”

Spirits are high at Hillsborough after the Owls extended their unbeaten streak to nine matches. But former Aston Villa youngster Bannan is confident his teammates will maintain their concentration levels as they prepare to entertain Nottingham Forest.

“If you are going to beat teams like Arsenal, you are going to get higher expectations,” he said. “That is normal in football.

“But we have a good manager and backroom staff who will all keep our feet on the ground. I don’t think the lads are the type to get carried away.

“As for the league, when you are as confident as this you just want to play every single game. Staying in the cup, there are more games to win and more games to play in. We are just enjoying it.”

Bannan has put in a series of outstanding performances since moving to South Yorkshire, leading to fans urging the club to tie the 25-year-old down to a longer deal. His current contract is set to expire at the end of the season.

“I am enjoying my football and I think you can see that in my performances,” he said. “It has been brilliant and I am playing every game and the gaffer has put good confidence in me.

“We have a good team so we will have a chance so why not.”

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