Sheffield Derby: This is what Barry Bannan says Sheffield Wednesday need to do in clash with Sheffield United

Passions will undoubtedly be running high before the 131st competitive Sheffield derby.

Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 5:42 pm
Updated Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 5:57 pm
Barry Bannan......Pic Steve Ellis
Barry Bannan......Pic Steve Ellis

After all, it is a fixture that divides families, friends and workplaces straight down the middle. Local bragging rights will be up for grabs come 7:45pm on Monday evening.

Derbies often boil down to fine margins - and midfield ace Barry Bannan is urging his Owls team-mates to stay in control of their emotions when they entertain Sheffield United.

Barry Bannan........Pic Steve Ellis

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"The gaffer spoke to us a couple of weeks ago when we played Rotherham and he touched on that (discipline)," said Bannan. "It’s about keeping your head and not giving into the passion.

"It’s a derby and it’s a crazy game but we need to be sensible really.

"The gaffer is experienced. He has been about and he has played in millions of derby games so I’m sure he’ll touch on it again."

Cool heads will be required in the heat of the battle but Bannan also believes Wednesday's supporters have a big part to play against their arch rivals. Owls officials expect a crowd of over 30,000 for the televised clash.

GOAL.....Celebrations from Owls Barry Bannan............Pic Steve Ellis

He said: "It is a massive game and we will create a great atmosphere. We are in a better place now and the fans will be like a 12th man and I can’t wait for it.

"The fans know what the game is all about and they’ll be right behind us. Hopefully in the last couple of weeks we have given them something to shout about and we need to give them something to work off as well."

Bannan, who has played in two of the last three Sheffield derbies, would love nothing more than to send the Wednesday fans home happy.

"I don’t live in the city so I am lucky that I don’t get harassed when we get beat or when I’m out getting food and stuff," he said.

"It is a massive game for the fans. It’s people’s livelihoods when they have come to watch and they have people harassing and abusing them so we will fight for our lives and do everything we can to give our fans that win."

Winning breeds confidence and Wednesday are in good spirits after back-to-back home victories.

Hillsborough is a difficult place for opponents to visit these days. You have to go back to November 24 for the last time the Owls lost in their own backyard.

Bannan said: "We have got a bit of confidence and are on a good run ourselves. We know that United are doing really well too so it will be a good game.

"We go into it confident knowing that we want to win the game and we can win the game.

"With it being a derby game, you want to win it for yourself, the fans, your family and give everybody that boost.

"We are just concentrating on winning the game and keeping our good run going."

He insists Wednesday respect promotion-chasing United but do not fear Chris Wilder's side.

"They have been brilliant and you can’t knock them," he said. "Obviously, I don’t want to be stood here saying this but you have to give credit where credit is due.

"They have had a good season and they had a good season last year too. They have done really well and have got good players but we have got good players as well and we are really confident of coming in and winning.

"They are a team in form and they are going to be a danger like any team in this league so we will show them a bit of respect but not too much respect. We know what we can do on our day and we are confident of winning the game."

Actions speak louder than words.