Sheffield Wednesday: Versatile Barry Bannan happy to play anywhere for Owls

Barry Bannan
Barry Bannan
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It is admirable how often Barry Bannan puts the needs of the team above his own personal ambitions.

If it was up to the Scotland international, he would like to play in central midfield every match and be given the freedom to bomb forward and score goals.

But Bannan, like a number of his Owls teammates, insists he is happy to carry on sacrificing himself for the greater good of the side.

There have been periods throughout Carlos Carvalhal’s tenure where Bannan has found himself playing out of position. He has been deployed on the right and left wing of midfield over the past two seasons.

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When Bannan has lined up in the middle of the park, Carvalhal has often asked him to play a deeper role and dictate the pace and tempo of a match with his vision and diverse passing range.

As long as Bannan is contributing to the team, he doesn’t care where he plays.

“My role has changed quite a lot throughout the last two seasons,” he conceded. “That has been a lot down to the injuries we have had.

“I have been the only one, touch wood, who has stayed fit and been able to play.

“We have had Kieran [Lee] and Sam [Hutchinson] out so I have played with a lot of different players. I have had to change my game depending on who I have played alongside.”

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Goals were hard to come by for Bannan last year, with the 27-year-old only scoring once in the thrilling come-from-behind victory over Bristol City.

Bannan said: “It will be interesting to see what role I’m going to play next season as I definitely want to score more goals. It is sometimes harder to score goals when you play in that deeper position.

“You have to let the other attacking players go forward and you have to sit back and protect the back four. You have to mindful of the counter attack, which is what I was doing for most of last season.

“I want to play in the middle as that’s where everything happens but it depends on what role the gaffer sees me playing.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter as long as you are playing. I will play wherever I am required and do a job as best as I can for the team.”

Bannan and the rest of the Owls squad have been put through their paces in pre-season training this week. There have been a number of double sessions as Wednesday gear up for their opening friendly at Alfreton on Tuesday.

Bannan had less time to rest and recuperate over the summer, having been away on international duty with Scotland. He was an unused substitute in the Scots pulsating 2-2 draw with England at Hampden Park last month.

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