‘His pedigree in this league is brilliant’ – Barry Bannan tips Steve Bruce to take Sheffield Wednesday back to the Premier League

Owls star Barry Bannan says Steve Bruce is the man to lead the club back to the Premier League.

By Dom Howson
Tuesday, 28 May, 2019, 09:34

Four-time promotion winner Bruce has masterminded a turnaround in Wednesday's fortunes since replacing Jos Luhukay last January.

His Owls side flirted with the Championship play-offs before finishing 12th last season. Bruce shored up Wednesday's leaky defence and made them harder to play against. Only champions Norwich City and second-placed Sheffield United lost fewer matches than the Owls in the second half of the campaign.

Speaking to Si Ferry on Open Goal, Bannan said: "With this gaffer, he knows everything about this league.

"He will have players that he will want to bring in and get out and stuff so I think we will be even better next year."

Bruce, who started his managerial career with Sheffield United over two decades ago, led Birmingham City and Hull City to the top-flight on two occasions each.

"His pedigree in this league is brilliant," said midfield playmaker Bannan. "I think we have got the right man for the job."

Owls boss Steve Bruce with midfielder Barry Bannan

The Scotland international believes Wednesday "would have had a right chance" of gatecrashing the top-six in the 2018/19 season had they had an extra "four or five more games".

On their aims for next season, Bannan told The Star: "We want to get promoted.

"I think we had a good bit of momentum coming towards the second half of this year but I think we just ran out of games in the end.

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"Under the new manager, everything has been really good so the season probably finished at a bad time for us.

"But we will rest now and look what we have done in the second half of the season and try and build on that next year."

In a frank, honest interview with Si Ferry at the Owls' Middlewood Road training ground, Bannan lifted the lid on his memorable season with Blackpool. The 29-year-old spent the 2009/10 season at Bloomfield Road, helping Ian Holloway's men secure promotion to the Premier League.

Bannan said: "That (Blackpool) was like a stag do.

"It was literally a stag do and we got promoted! What a guy he is (Holloway).

"There's no office at Blackpool, it's in a portacabin in amongst the boys playing darts.

"He was in the middle, he was crazy, he was one of the boys and probably the most mental out of us all.

"He was brilliant though because you went in nervous because it's new boys, having to introduce yourself.

"But he was in the mix. He would say 'Right this is him from Scotland, he's better than you all, he's here to take your place Charlie Adam!'.

"There was no bedding in time with him, you were in right away and that was it."