What Tony Pulis said on Barry Bannan's fitness after Sheffield Wednesday captain was brought off in Reading draw
Sheffield Wednesday manager Tony Pulis is tasked with having to lead an even more depleted squad for their trip to table-topping Norwich after a gruelling 1-1 draw with Reading.
Key man and midfield enforcer Massimo Luongo will miss the Carrow Road clash through suspension after he was shown the fifth red card of his Championship season, while young Liam Shaw will also miss out after he was sent off in the turning point of their third draw on the spin.
Shaw saw red after mistiming a tackle on Royals man Omar Richards after just 30 minutes with Wednesday one-up thanks to a well-taken Callum Paterson goal.
Familiar face Lucas Joao continued his fine form for the visitors, who were kept at bay by a committed Wednesday display, despite having a flurry of penalty shouts turned down.
Pulis admitted they found themselves on the right side of favour when it came to those decisions but reported fears over the fitness of talisman and captain Barry Bannan, who may also miss Saturday’s Norwich match-up after he was substituted at half-time with an ankle injury.
“He’s got a right kick on his ankle, we’ll have to wait and see what he looks like with the games coming so quickly,” said Pulis, who has previously made clear his desire to better manage the Owls squad after ‘too many’ Hillsborough soft tissue injuries in seasons gone by.
Speaking after the game, the Welshman continued, “We’ll assess it. They’ve got tomorrow off – I wish I could give them a week off after that performance.
“Barry will most probably be in treatment, he’s got some swelling and he’s very sore. There was no way I was going to keep him on, he wanted to stay on, but there was no way.
“We need him. He’s an important player for this football club.”
The absence of Bannan, Shaw and Luongo would mean that all three of the Owls’ starting midfielders in the last two matches would be missing for what could be seen as the Championship’s biggest test of the season.
“It’s going to be a problem for us without a doubt,” Pulis admitted. “We need everybody at the moment.”