Atdhe Nuhiu’s big Wembley dream revealed as Sheffield Wednesday approach Sunderland face-off

All eyes on Wearside – and we’ll say half of the Steel City – will focus in on the Stadium of Light on Friday as Sheffield Wednesday make the trip for their play-off semi-final first leg with Sunderland.

Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 1:01 pm

Interested parties are spread much further than that of course, with the fan bases of both clubs stretching all over the world.

Among the more recognisable faces known to be cheering on the Owls from further afield are a group of former players who have been keeping a close eye on their progress since hanging up their blue and white shirts for the final time.

That’s according to Wednesday skipper Barry Bannan, who speaking to The Star ahead of the Owls’ win over Portsmouth revealed the contact he has had with some of his former teammates this season, one of whom has pledged to make the trip to Wembley should they overcome their Black Cats hurdle.

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Atdhe Nuhiu is desperate for Sheffield Wednesday to get to Wembley.

“I speak to Glenn [Loovens] now and again, he often texts me wishing us all the best,” Bannan said.

“Big Atdhe is adamant he’s coming to Wembley if we get there, he really wants to get to Wembley.

“A few of the other boys, Hoops and Fletch, they’re close friends of mine and are still very much in touch so they’re all willing us on.

“They’re all hoping we can get over the line and get back to where we should be.”

Bannan is filed as a maybe for Friday’s crunch match having gone off in the weekend’s win over Pompey.

Should he be involved, he intends to use the disappointments of one huge game in the past as motivation for what lies ahead.

“You learn from them [big games] and hopefully I have,” he said. “The play-off final, I let it go past me without really influencing it as much as I should have.

“I’ll try to make sure I come off the pitch with no regrets. At Wembley I felt I didn’t do enough. I tried, I gave 100 per cent, but I never really got on the ball or affected the game too much, it went past me.

“I want to take lessons from that and affect the game properly.”