Nine points from a possible 12 has helped bring the smiles back to Hillsborough after a testing summer.

Thursday, 22nd August 2019, 11:17 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd August 2019, 20:54 pm

Wednesday, under the caretaker management of Lee Bullen, currently occupy fourth position after making their best start to a season since 1996.

But for midfield maestro Barry Bannan, their points tally should be higher.

The 29-year-old, a bargain free transfer recruit almost four years ago, told The Star: "It should have been four wins out of four. On another day, we would have probably won at Millwall or even picked up a draw.

Owls midfielder Barry Bannan

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"We should have more points on the board than what we have at the minute but we can't complain. It is a great start and we have not really had that since I have been here.

"It is still early days but we have shown positive signs and we are enjoying it."

When quizzed on what has been the secret to their impressive start, Bannan said: "We have made good signings and have Kieran Lee back. He is like another signing!

"I think the pre-season that we had was a lot better than the previous pre-seasons we have had before. That is not knocking the other managers. It is different styles and, to be fair, Steve Bruce gave us a hard, hard pre-season before he left.

"Our fitness levels are brilliant and we showed that in the second half against Luton."

Wednesday returned to winning ways on Tuesday evening, seeing off Championship newcomers Luton Town at S6 after a predatory finish by Kadeem Harris.

The Hatters had the better of the first half but the Owls produced a much-improved showing after the break to earn a third win from four matches.

Bannan said: "Luton did really well in the opening 45 minutes.

"We were disappointed with how we played in the first half. We probably let them play too much and didn't show the energy that we have shown in other matches.

"We were all disappointed (at half-time) but kept calm because the game was still 0-0 and there to be won.

"We knew we needed to lift it because it was not good enough.

"I think second half was a big, big performance from the boys. It is tough sometimes and you have to grind out results in this league and that is what we did."

Harris has arguably been Wednesday's standout performer since arriving on a free transfer from Cardiff City. The speedy wide man was a real thorn in Luton's side in the second half and capped a sparkling display by grabbing his second goal in four starts.

"Kadeem has been brilliant," said Bannan. "He has got that little bit of extra pace that we have probably needed over the last couple of years.

"Pace is something that we have not had for a while.

"He has been a breath of fresh air and he is a great lad as well. He has been really good and hopefully he can keep that going."

Morgan Fox, Bannan's team-mate, was singled out for some pre-match catcalls in midweek. The left-back, handed his first start of the season, was booed by some Wednesdayites when his name was read out before kick-off.

But the former Charlton Athletic man, who also jeered by a section of the fan-base when he was substituted in their home defeat to Derby County last November, put in a strong defensive showing to help the Owls record a second clean sheet.

Like caretaker boss Lee Bullen and Adam Reach, Bannan has leapt to Fox's defence.

"Morgan was brilliant," he said. "It was a bit harsh (the booing) really because the boy works his hardest week in, week out.

"He doesn't play every week but I think the fans were a bit harsh on him in the first half (against Luton).

"I don't think you can be really harsh on people like that when they give their all week in, week out and come in and don't complain when they are not playing.

"I was glad to see Foxy come through the other end in the second half and turn in a really good performance. He saved us the game at the end with that last-ditch block. I was really happy for him."

Next up for Wednesday is a trip to Preston North End.

"We are in a good way; winning breeds confidence and we go to Preston in a good place," added Bannan.