What Sheffield Wednesday star Barry Bannan thinks will be key to Sheffield derby success

Sheffield Wednesday star Barry Bannan
Sheffield Wednesday star Barry Bannan
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Influential midfielder Barry Bannan has warned "cool heads" will be required when Sheffield Wednesday meet Steel City rivals Sheffield United this week.

Glenn Loovens was sent off for two bookable offences in the last clash between the two Sheffield clubs back in January as the Owls held the Blades to a goalless draw at Bramall Lane.

Wednesday face United on Friday aiming to end a four-match losing streak and Bannan has spoken of the importance of the team keeping their discipline.

"It will be an electric atmosphere but I think we are experienced enough to know that we can't get carried away with the atmosphere and let it get the better of us," he told The Star.

"We have to keep cool heads, play our football and hopefully we will get a positive result."

Jos Luhukay, the Owls boss, is under growing pressure following Saturday's 4-0 hammering to Norwich City. They are only four points above the drop zone after their poor sequence of results.

"We are trying our hardest," insisted Bannan. "Everybody in there is giving 100 per cent but it is just not going our way at the minute. It is not a good time for the club.

"It can soon turn. We have got a massive game on Friday. It is probably the best game that we could have at this moment in time. If we win, then everything is forgotten."

Although United sit in third position and are 10 points better off than Wednesday, Bannan dismissed the notion that the Blades are the "better team".

He said: "They have just had a better start. There’s a long way to go.

"I’m glad we’re away: you feel the hatred and it spurs you. When everything’s against you; when you’re getting so much hatred and then you come out on top, there’s no better feeling.”

Bannan, who has claimed two goals this season, is in line to play in his second Sheffield derby.

"I can't wait for it," said the Scotland international. "It is one of those games that you look out for as soon as the fixtures come out at the start of the season.

"It is a massive derby. There is a lot of hatred between the two teams. It is not just a football game at the end of the day.

"The fans have to go to work with Sheffield United fans. It's bragging rights. It's a lot more than just football so I will be trying my hardest to help us win that game."