Sheffield Wednesday: Barry Bannan lauds flourishing partnership with Joey Pelupessy
In-form Owls star Barry Bannan claims teammate Joey Pelupessy is the perfect foil for him in the middle of the park.
Pelupessy, recruited in a Â£500,000 capture from Dutch club Heracles Almelo last January, has started alongside Bannan in Wednesday's six Championship matches.
Boss Jos Luhukay has deployed Pelupessy in the defensive midfield role, with Bannan's job to create and make things happen. Bannan has already contributed a goal and an assist this term.
Pelupessy's presence has freed Bannan up and allowed him to get further forward and support the attack.Â
Bannan told The Star: "I've struck up a really good relationship with Joey. I get on with him really well as well around the training ground.Â
"He's enthusiastic, happy and so friendly. He has been a really good addition to the squad.Â
"For me, playing alongside Joey, he does things that I can't do. Well, not that I can't do them, but he does them better than me.
"I think it's a good combination. He'll run about, he'll tackle, he'll win the ball. Having someone there like that is a great help for me.Â
"It allows me to go and do the things I'm good at. It's been a pleasure to play with Joey since he has come in and long may it continue."
Luhukay has challenged Bannan, the Owls' stand-out performer during a run of three straight Championship wins, to score a minimum of four goals this season.
"The manager wants me to get forward a lot more and make things happens," said Bannan, who agreed a new contract last week. "He wants me to get back as well but Joey has been there helping me.Â
"He has probably done the dirty work to let me go and try and make things happen further up the pitch. It has been really good for me because I've had a few chances and got a few assists so I'm enjoying the new role."
Bannan, a fans favourite, said he was "always confident" he would extend his Hillsborough stay and paid tribute to chairman Dejphon Chansiri after signing a three-year contract extension.
"I have loved my time here," he admitted. "Since I have walked through the door, the fans have taken to me.Â
"I have great teammates, I like the management and it was an easy decision in the end. When you grow as close to a club as I have since I've been here, it was only a matter of time before it happened.Â
"It took a little bit longer than it should have because we were talking through the summer. I'm glad I got it done and I'm happy to be here for another three years.
"I was always confident it would happen. I made it clear from day one that I wanted to extend my stay here and it was just coming to an agreement and eventually we did that so I'm pleased.Â
"I would like to thank the chairman. He played a big part in me wanting to be here. He's ambitious the way I am so it was brilliant."