Sheffield Wednesday talisman Barry Bannan: It's time to lay off 'underappreciated' Adam Reach
Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Barry Bannan has launched a passionate defence of his teammate Adam Reach, claiming criticism of his performances have gone too far at times this season.
The Scottish midfielder, who has been a near-constant alongside the £5m man since his transfer from Middlesbrough in 2016, said Reach is a victim of his own high standards and that while his tally of one goal this season isn’t what anybody would have hoped, he has contributed to the side in different ways.
Reach was left out of Garry Monk’s starting line-up for the draw against Swansea but made an eye-catching cameo from the bench, producing a trademark run and shot in the build-up to Fernando Forestieri’s late goal.
And sending a message to Reach’s detractors, Bannan said: “I think he gets a lot of bad criticism. A lot of people forget you are not going to be 100 per cent every game, and scoring.
“Adam scored a lot of unbelievable goals last year, which most players wouldn’t be able to do. He’s not going to be like that every game, or he wouldn’t be here [at Sheffield Wednesday], he would be somewhere else.”
Despite his goalscoring lull, no Wednesday player has more assists than Reach’s three, and with 17 chances created he is behind only Bannan (31) and Kadeem Harris (20) in the Owls changing room.
And it is within that changing room that Reach offers even more of an influence, Bannan said, as well as his contribution to the side’s much-improved defensive outlook. A return to his devastating best in attack, he believes, is not far away.
“A lot of people forget about his work rate and what he does off the ball,” Bannan said. “He is a wise head, has a lot of experience.
“He get bad press, but that’s probably because he was scoring all these ‘worldie’ goals last season. There’s not many players capable of scoring all those goals he scored last year. We appreciate him as a team-mate, and in the changing room.
“The gaffer wanted a change [for Swansea], but when Adam came on he had an assist in the first goal, and made an impact on the game. That will be good for his confidence.”
Wednesday travel to table-topping West Brom on Saturday.