Owls midfielder Barry Bannan has praised his team mates for “working their socks off” and committing to caretaker manager Steve Agnew’s tactical changes following Sheffield Wednesday’s win over Luton Town in the FA Cup.
A much improved Wednesday side advanced to the fourth round of the cup thanks to a scrappy Adthe Nuhiu goal in what was a much more creative performance than the Owls offered against the same opponents at Hillsborough.
Bannan, who played an integral role in the centre of the park for Wednesday, credited a mix of hard work and pressing from the front for the Owls’ narrow win at Kenilworth Road.
He said: “A lot of people might have thought there could have been an upset coming in because they are flying in their league and we’re having a tough time but it shows our character.
“This is a tough place to come and hats off the the team, they gave us a great game and we dug in when we needed to.
“Having two strikers up top that worked their socks off and the ones behind followed, it showed because we won the ball in high areas and dangerous areas tonight where as in weeks before we probably sat in and tried to counter.
“The boys enjoyed the high press tonight because we got a lot of joy from it.”
Wednesday’s 3-0 humbling at the hands of Hull City last weekend was motivation for Bannan and co. to prove their credentials against lower-league opposition under the lights on Tuesday night, especially with new manager Steve Bruce watching on from afar.
In the meantime, the Owls have to impress caretaker manager Steve Agnew, who targeted the trip to Kenilworth Road as a chance for Wednesday to put their KCOM Stadium performance in the past and showcase the tactics he has put into place on the training ground.
“It is a lot of hard work but that’s what wins games and we’ve worked hard and got through to the next round,” Bannan said.
“That wasn’t a Sheffield Wednesday performance at the weekend, it was kind of a surprise because we never saw it coming ourselves because we were in a good bit of form and all of a sudden we didn’t turn up at Hull.
“We talked about it and made sure that the fans that travelled wouldn’t see another performance like that and whether we lost or not we made sure that we gave everything out there and left everything on the pitch.
“Steve and Clem have come in and it has been brilliant, the training has changed and the boys are starting to enjoy the training that we are starting to do as well.
“Steve Bruce spoke to us on his first day so we know what is happening and we’ve enjoyed the last two weeks with different ideas and different formations.”