Sheffield Wednesday: Jos Luhukay on why the Owls need Barry Bannan

The importance of Barry Bannan to the Sheffield Wednesday cause has been underlined by manager Jos Luhukay as the midfield playmaker stands on the brink of being banned.

Bannan has been the Owls' stand-out performer in the opening weeks of the season, scoring two sensational goals in seven Championship games, and is the player the club can least afford to lose.

Barry Bannan just after that free-kick against Stoke

Barry Bannan just after that free-kick against Stoke

But the Scottish international is only one booking away from being hit with a one-match suspension after picking up his fourth yellow card of the campaign in last Saturday's 2-2 home draw with Stoke City.

"He is the player who gives the team confidence and possibilities when he is on the ball," said Luhukay who takes his side to Nottingham Forest on Wednesday evening.

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Ironically, Man of the Match Bannan was cautioned against the Potters for a foul on Boban by referee Geoff Eltringham only minutes after sealing Wednesday's Hillsborough comeback from 2-0 down with a sublime 22-yard free-kick.

Congratulations from assistant boss Lee Bullen

Congratulations from assistant boss Lee Bullen

He also set up Marco Matias for the Owls' first goal with a 60-yard pass.

"If we did not have Barry, it would have been very difficult for us," Luhukay said

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“For the first goal, what a pass that was from his own half. It was so good. With the second goal, I will look back 10 times and can't stop with that."

Barry Bannan's manager also seems fairly pleased

Barry Bannan's manager also seems fairly pleased

Luhukay, whose side are up to ninth in the table after taking 10 points from their last four matches, has called on the rest of his squad to emulate Bannan’s approach.

"We must have more confidence and play forward when we are in the half of the opponent and create chances to score goals," he said. "I thought only Barry had the trust against Stoke to believe to play. 

"It was, of course, good for us that Barry was confident, but the other 10 players must have that. We must do it with each other and for each other.

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"The character and the mentality is 100 per cent, but you must always try to create more chances to come to more spectacular moments in the half of your opponent.

"Our fans stayed behind the team and the explosion at 2-2 is why you go to football."

Wednesday's main man is almost certain to be banned at some stage. The cut-off point for five yellow cards is November 30 and between now and then Wednesday are scheduled to play 12 Championship fixtures.

Bannan, an ever-present in the Championship for the Owls this season, picked up his other bookings in league clashes against Wigan Athletic, Hull City and Ipswich Town.

Meanwhile, striker Gary Hooper stepped up his return from a long-term hip complaint by playing for more than an hour in the Owls Under-23s’ 2-2 draw at Leeds United today. Wednesday scored through George Boyd and an own goal.

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