Sheffield Wednesday: Owls ace on double mission

Barry BannanBarry Bannan
Barry Bannan
Barry Bannan is on double mission - to win a wager with a friend and fire Sheffield Wednesday to promotion.

The midfielder has made a goal-scoring bet with fellow Scotland international James Morrison that he will find the back of the net eight times during the 2015/16 campaign.

It took Bannan, who recently penned a new three-and-a-half-year contract, 15 matches to open his Owls account. Following his fine finish away to Cardiff City, Bannan also netted in their hard-fought FA Cup win over Fulham earlier this month.

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Bannan, recruited on a free transfer from Crystal Palace, remains half a dozen goals away from making West Bromwich Albion star Morrison pay up.

“I have got a bet with my mate James Morrison that I will get to eight so hopefully I will manage to reach that target,” he told The Star. “It was nice to score my first goal in front of the home fans against Fulham.

“It was one of those strikes that doesn’t happen every week so you have got to savour it while you can.”

However, Bannan’s insists his top priority is to help end Wednesday’s 16-year top-flight exile.

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He said: “If the team keep playing the way we are doing at the minute, I’m pretty confident we can be in the play-offs at the end of the season.

“It would be brilliant if we went up. Everybody in the changing room wants to be playing Premier League football next season but it’s not easy.

“We have done a great job so far but there is still a long way to go.

“We need to stay focused, concentrate on ourselves and not get carried away.”

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The former Aston Villa youngster is enjoying the style of football the Owls are playing under head coach Carlos Carvalhal.

“It has been easy for me because Carlos wants to play how I want to play,” said Bannan, who has featured 23 times this campaign.

“I have taken to it straight away.

“He plays football that I want to play and that suits me. I have been lucky in finding a manager like that.

“Carlos came in and looked at the team and has seen what we can do and what style suits this team the most.

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“I get on really well with him and I am looking forward to playing my football here for the next couple of years.

“The players have really bought into his philosophy and we are really reaping the benefits now.”