“I’m already here at home..” Lee Gregory on Barry Bannan and life at Sheffield Wednesday

There was a moment in Sheffield Wednesday’ 1-0 win over Fleetwood Town on Tuesday evening that showed just a glimmer of what Owls fans have been thinking about since Lee Gregory’s signing was confirmed.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 3:00 pm

Barry Bannan picked up the ball, dropped his shoulder and unleashed a curling left-footed through-ball onto the number nine’s instep to put him clean through on goal.

Gregory had already got the Kop buzzing by scoring in the 15th minute – a goal that proved to be the winner – and only a slight lack of match sharpness prvented him from doubling that lead as Fleetwood defenders eventually reigned him in.

One feels it may not b the last time the Sheffield-born striker is offered up a chance by his captain.

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Sheffield Wednesday number nine Lee Gregory has backed himself to get the goals to get the Owls promoted this season.

“He’s an absolute joy,” Gregory said, smile beaming when asked about Bannan. “As soon as he picks up the ball, I know I need to start moving because I feel like he’s going to find me no matter where I am.

“It really does feel like we can strike up a real partnership.”

It’s been a little over two weeks since Gregory’s transfer was confirmed by Wednesday, ending a wait for a long-term number nine of any reasonable reputation that has lasted since Steven Fletcher’s departure in the summer of 2020.

Wednesday faced competition for Gregory, who is understood to have been of keen interest to Championship clubs, but it was the challenge that lies ahead of the Owls that enticed him. That and the man that has been a recurring theme in just about every introductory conversation with a new signing this summer; Darren Moore.

“It was his enthusiasm, how he wanted to build a team and how he wanted to play,” Gregory said on the conversation that swung it. “He was so positive and as soon as I spoke to him I thought ‘I want to be there’.

“Also, look at the size of this club. It’s not like it’s a small club is it? Hopefully we can all turn this club around now and get it back to where it belongs.

“He knows what he wants, he’s putting that across to the lads and you can see the lads are working hard.”

Gregory has followed other senior players at Wednesday in refusing to shy away from the bullish target set within the changing room this season; the title. He told media this week that anything less than promotion he would see as failure.

And while he accepts it may take a game or two for him to truly hit the gas on his goalscoring aspirations at S6, his first for Wednesday, scored in front of a bustling Kop on Tuesday night, is a fine start.

An early goal is another fine way to get himself underway, he said.

“Settling in has been easy,” he said. “Everyone from players and staff to fans, it’s been easy to settle in.

“This is my hometown, so when you talk about feeling right at home, I’m already here at home. I’m enjoying it.

“The drive in takes 20 minutes, I’ll take that.”