Sheffield Wednesday: Barry Bannan fit to play at Millwall as Lee Bullen hints at changes
The full breadth of Sheffield Wednesday’s squad looks likely to be used in the coming weeks as caretaker boss Lee Bullen prepares to navigate a cluttered fixture list, starting with tomorrow’s trip to Millwall.
Much has been made of the physical challenge posed by Neil Harris’ men, who remain unbeaten after an impressive start to the season. Speaking ahead of the game the Scot hinted at personnel changes as they attempt to combat the hosts’ style of play.
“We’ll have a plan in place on what to do to handle Millwall,” he said.
“I like to try and keep a continuity in a team but ultimately you’ve got to play what’s in front of you, so if it means a couple of changes and trying to handle that threat from Millwall then we’ll make them and put out what we feel is best.
“The great thing about the Championship is that you’re going to have a different test every single week. This week is a different one to the ones we’ve had previously and it can dictate the side you pick.
“Away from home you may have to be a little more pragmatic about things.”
One figure that could feature is talismanic midfielder Barry Bannan, who is available for selection after a calf problem ruled him out of last week’s derby win over Barnsley.
Bullen said: “He’s got a big chance of playing this weekend, he’s available for selection so we’ll assess his training session this morning.
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“It’s the first one he’s joined in on this morning and he’s spent all week with the sports scientists and fitness guys, so we’ll make a decision on that one, whether he starts or is in the squad.”
Keiren Westwood is available for selection after suspension and will take the gloves, with a decision to be made over the returning Dominic Iorfa, who looks set to battle Moses Odubajo for the right-back berth.
Millwall’s direct style of play is perhaps best personified by the threat of target man Matt Smith, who has made a bright start to his Lions career having signed from QPR in the summer.
Smith scored the equaliser in their impressive 1-1 draw at West Brom last weekend and will provide a stern test for Tom Lees and Julian Borner, with loanee new boy David Bates likely to miss out having not made the squad last week.
“We’ve had a discussion with David, ultimately we’ve had two good victories, he’s a professional footballer, I’ve been there as well. Sometimes you’ve just got to bite your lip and bide your time when it comes along.
“We’re now at the point when we’re starting to get into the Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, so the full squad will be utilised.
“Some lads that haven’t even been in the squad will come back in and potentially be given the opportunity to play, then it’s up to the players to make the most of their opportunity and make it even more difficult for me to decide who’s going to play.”