We’ll be back! Owls star confident Sheffield Wednesday can challenge again next season

Steven Fletcher and Barry Bannan celebrate Fletcher's goal against Fulham earlier this season
Steven Fletcher and Barry Bannan celebrate Fletcher's goal against Fulham earlier this season
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Barry Bannan has backed Sheffield Wednesday to be back amongst the promotion contenders again next season after this dire showing.

The Owls midfielder conceded that injuries to key members of the squad hastened and were one of the biggest reasons for their slipping down the table and out of the running for at least a play-off place.

The Scot, however, believes Wednesday are capable of mounting a challenge again in the next campaign and is confident that they will do so.

“This is a competitive league - it’s hard to lose three or four but to lose as many as we have is going to be a task for anybody in this league,” said Bannan, who made a return to the squad in Saturday’s win over Leeds United on Saturday after a three-month absence.

“And it wasn’t short term injuries, it was long term for almost all of them.

“It was hard, the boys that came in have done brilliant, they tried their hardest every game and that’s all you can ask for.

“You have to take your hats off to them as well because some of the boys have been asked to play 90 after 90 because we didn’t have enough players.

“It’s hard to take, some of us still have contracts and we’ll be back again next year to go again.”

Bannan insists that the sheer depth of injuries which denied Wednesday the services of the likes of Fernando Forestieri, Kieran Lee, Sam Hutchinson, Gary Hooper, Tom Lees and Keiren Westwood among others, prevented the Owls from mounting a sustained challenge this season.

“I think if we didn’t get as much injuries this season as we did then we would have been right up there challenging,” he said.

“Even when the gaffer went when he went we weren’t totally out of the running but the injures came at bad times and I’m pretty confident that without the injuries we would have been there or thereabouts come the end of the season.

“But if we can keep everyone for next season and build on it again I don’t see why we can’t go again and build on it.”