'No egos' 'Fewer cliques' - Barry Bannan and Sam Hutchinson open up on changing culture at Sheffield Wednesday

‘Dressing room culture’ has been something of a buzzword in discussions around Sheffield Wednesday’s on-field failings in the last few years.

Thursday, 27th January 2022, 5:00 pm

And two men at the centre of those debates are club captain Barry Bannan and Sam Hutchinson, who if you allow yourself to excuse a brief trip to Cyprus, are among the club’s longest-serving players.

Few will have a better view of how the changing room culture has ebbed and flowed at Wednesday in the last six or seven years, both playing a part in the highs of Championship playoff qualification and the lows of relegation to the third tier.

So how is this new-look Owls side getting on and how much should be read into how close a team appears to be?

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Sheffield Wednesday man Sam Hutchinson and skipper Barry Bannan.

“It’s closer. There are probably fewer cliques,” said Hutchinson in conversation with The Star last week.

“But people read too much into all that, I think. Sometimes you can have chemistry on the pitch and not off the pitch.

“Sometimes people look for excuses. When it’s going good, nobody tends to worry about the culture, but to be honest, this is probably the best I’ve ever seen it.”

Bannan holds a similar view. Both he and Hutchinson are among a bank of senior players boosted this week by the loan addition of Harlee Dean, previously club captain at Birmingham City.

And despite a stop-start season that sees them in ninth place, six points shy of the League One playoff places, he believes the group have built a spirit that will stand them in good stead going deeper into the second half of the season.

“It has changed, definitely,” Bannan said prior to Wednesday’s win over Plymouth Argyle. “The gaffer has brought in a lot of young boys who are willing to learn and take things on board.

“If you have too many egos it can go the opposite way and I don’t think we’ve got that now, we’ve got just about the right balance in the changing room.

“The togetherness has been really good through thick and through thin, so I’m happy with the changing room. Everybody gets on with one another.

“There are probably a few kids that need a bit of help, but we’ve got experienced heads in there to help them along the way. Hopefully they can take it on and learn from us.”

Bannan spoke about the need for not going over the top when it comes to ‘crisis meetings’ in the management of the side, following the preference of manager Darren Moore in keeping an even keel on things when it comes to the management of the changing room.

There’s a time though, he said, for ranting and raving.

Hutchinson said: “We’ve had lots of new players in. Everybody gets on together and there’s a nice balance.

“We play a lot of table tennis in the changing room when everyone is allowed in, we’re close and we have that bit of banter. We do have that team spirit.

“Normally when you have that, you’re closer on the pitch so hopefully we can get going.”