Sheffield Wednesday star Barry Bannan reveals how Steve Bruce has changed their tactical approach
Barry Bannan held nothing back when he was asked what is the biggest thing Steve Bruce has changed since taking over as Owls manager.
"He expects work-rate," said the diminutive midfielder. "If you don't get to the level he wants in training, you won't play."We looked at the running stats from before and I think we were 10km down when we lost to Norwich (in November). That is an extra player in the running stats and they beat us 4-0."When we have run a bit more than teams, we have been winning games."Bruce, who officially began his Wednesday reign at the end of January, has already begun the process of moulding the Owls into his image.It is well-documented that Bruce likes his teams to play at a high tempo and in an aggressive fashion. He prefers his sides to be proactive rather than reactive. He wants his players to make things happen.And, slowly but surely, Bruce has tweaked Wednesday's tactical approach. Bannan said: "He wants us to play more high intensity and press teams. He wants us to not show teams respect by getting in their faces and to try to win the ball back higher up the pitch."Whereas before, we worked hard but we were running for the sake of running. There were no real tactics behind it. "We were just running and getting picked off. We weren't really training on where to run to which didn't really help. "Now, I think we are saving energy and using it in the right way."As far as Bannan is concerned, playing on the front foot is the right approach. "I think we can be successful playing that way next season," he added.As Bruce contemplates a big summer rebuild, the former Manchester United defender has vowed to whip his first-team squad into shape when they return for pre-season training next month. Bannan expects a summer of sweat and toil.He said: "Pre-season is going to be really tough but you need to be fit to win this league and you can see that with the teams that went up."They have got a real work ethic and they just run all over teams so that is something we are going to have to work on in pre-season so we can hopefully do that next season."