‘Here to create’ – Barry Bannan on his role for Sheffield Wednesday and Scotland ambitions

If there was ever any doubt, last weekend’s performance against Blackburn Rovers confirmed that Barry Bannan is Sheffield Wednesday’s creative king.

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 12:29 pm

The Owls midfielder bagged three assists in the 4-2 win at Hillsborough in a dominant midfield display – despite having to adjust to a new central partner with just ten minutes on the clock after Sam Hutchinson was forced to come off in place of Joey Pelupessy because if a hamstring injury.

Wednesday scored four for the first time this season in what had been a tricky campaign for creativity until the arrival of Steve Bruce.

Bannan, who has scored three goals and now has nine assists so far this season, told the Star: “That’s what I’m here to do - to create goals for the team and try to dominate games and I’m proud of how I’m playing at the minute.

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“Obviously I’d like to score goals but the biggest thing for me is probably getting assists and I’m delighted with how it’s gone in the last few weeks.”

Bannan’s performances earned him an international call up for Scotland, but he was forced to withdraw due to a knock he sustained against Tony Mowbray’s side.

Fellow Scot Steven Fletcher was also a casualty from the match but it is hoped the striker, Bannan and Hutchinson will all return in time for the next Championship match against Stoke City in ten days’ time.

On whether the break has come at the wrong time for the in-form Owls, the 29-year-old said: “Before the game, probably, but we have picked up two more injuries with Hutch and Fletch so it’s a good thing now to get them back and get those that have been carrying injuries back as well for after the international break.

“Growing up as a little kid playing in the streets you dream of playing for your country, and I’ve been out of it for a while.

“It’s massive to get off to a good start in the group. It’s two tough games away from home that we should win so we will look forward to it and hopefully we can get off to a good start and get six points.”

Scotland are due to play Kazakhstan on Thursday afternoon in their first of two Euro 2020 qualifying matches during the break, with an away trip to San Marino also on the cards this week.

Of Wednesday’s three eligible Scotsmen only Liam Palmer will now travel with the squad, which Bannan says is a well deserved first international trip for the defender.

“He’s been brilliant, he deserves his call up and I’m delighted for him,” he said. “Hopefully he can get a game and get his first cap.

“He’s playing left-back, which is a position that is probably new to him and he’s been brilliant.

“He’s a great lad as well so everyone is really happy that he has got that international recognition.”