‘I won’t be doing that in a hurry again’ – Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce on Barry Bannan’s position
Steve Bruce says he won’t move Barry Bannan out of central midfield again in a hurry after trying the Scot on the left in Tuesday night’s draw at Millwall.
The Wednesday chief tinkered with the midfield for the trip to The Den as Joey Pelupessy started in place of George Boyd and Lucas Joao replaced Fernando Forestieri, with Bannan pushed out onto the left.
With three games this week following last weekend’s draw against Reading and with a south Yorkshire derby against Rotherham United on Saturday, changes were expected for the trip to Millwall as captain Tom Lees was missing again due to a shin injury sustained in training.
Bruce, who has insisted that every Owls player has a clean slate now he has taken over as manager, used the midweek Championship clash as a chance to experiment with Bannan’s best position.
"We have got another game on Saturday,” he said. “As I have said to everybody, they are all going to get their chance.
"I remember Barry playing on the side in that successful season. He played a little bit free and that was the aim but we never got the ball to him. We changed at half-time because we thought he would be more influential in getting on the ball and making us play and he did that.
"I wanted to see if we could get him in those little areas.
"But we didn't play well at all and we only played when he came into the middle of the pitch. He got us playing so I have learned something tonight. I don't think I will be doing that in a hurry again.”
The result marked another clean sheet to add to Wednesday’s growing tally, which pleased the former Manchester United defender.
"We are delighted about keeping another clean sheet,” he said.
"We made a bit more of a game of it in the second half and we looked as though we enjoyed it.
"If you are going to play football well, you have got to try and enjoy it. We looked as if we didn't enjoy it at all in the first half.
"I was more pleased with the way we played in the second half. We at least played with a bit of energy and we looked as if we were enjoying the challenge.
"I think that has pleased me more than anything. Okay, we would have loved the result.
"But at least we have had the response and played the right way.”
Tuesday night’s match was Bannan’s 150th in a Wednesday shirt since joining the club on a free transfer from Crystal Palace in 2015.