Sheffield Wednesday: No regrets for Bannan over Premier League exit
It has been clear to see this season that Barry Bannan plays football with a smile on his face.
Incredible close control, surging runs and those sublime tricks and flicks have brought plenty of smiles to faces of Sheffield Wednesday fans as well.
His enjoyment of the game this season has no doubt been helped greatly by the success Wednesday have enjoyed.
But simply playing on a regular basis since his switch from Crystal Palace in the summer transfer window was enough to leave the Scotland international feeling contented.
The prospect of getting back to regularly starting games was enough to lure the Scotland international out of the Premier League.
He insists he did not hesitate in deciding to join Wednesday but by no means expected he would walk straight into the team.
“It was an easy decision,” Bannan said. “Since I was a kid, I have always wanted to play football.
“Up until probably five years ago, I was playing every week.
“The last three or four seasons have been tough. I wasn’t playing.
“People say ‘you get paid this and you get paid that’ but you want to be out there playing football or otherwise there’s no point in being there.
“It was an easy decision but I didn’t know I was going to play here.
“I had to prove myself.
“Luckily I’ve done well this season and hopefully I can do well for a few more years to come.”
Bannan’s time outside the top flight could prove short-lived as Wednesday prepare to begin their play-off campaign next Friday.
Their semi-final opponents will be decided upon today as Middlesbrough and Brighton and Hove Albion go head to head at the Riverside.
Boro must avoid defeat to win automatic promotion and ensure Brighton head to Hillsborough on Friday instead of them.
Bannan says he does not particularly care who the Owls will face in the semi-finals and expects each game to be closely fought.
He said: “It doesn’t matter who we get. You’ve got to beat everybody.
“There are four equal teams who are pretty similar who are all capable of beating each other.
“We have played both teams.
“Middlesbrough beat us in both games but I don’t think there was much in it. I wasn’t here for the home game. In the away game, they caught us early but we could have sneaked something in the end. It was pretty even.
“We drew 0-0 twice with Brighton.
“It is going to be close. We know we are a threat for anyone in this league.”