Yet more praise for Sheffield Wednesday’s main man Barry Bannan

Jacob Butterfield and Barry Bannan in action against Bristol City
Jacob Butterfield and Barry Bannan in action against Bristol City
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His contribution with and without the ball to the Owls side has been immense this season.

While others around Barry Bannan have struggled for consistency, the Scotland international has maintained a high level of performance throughout.

His sparkling midfield displays recently prompted Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal to describe him as “one of the best players in the Championship”. On current form, few observers would disagree with that opinion.

Under Carvalhal, Bannan has been a first-team regular. Indeed, only Bannan and Adam Reach have started every Owls match during the 2017/18 campaign. The Scot’s enthusiasm, drive and diverse passing range is pivotal to Wednesday.

Fellow Owls midfielder Jacob Butterfield, on loan from Derby County until the end of the season, told The Star: “Barry is a quality footballer.

“He’s similar to myself. He’s technically very good. He likes to get on the ball and dictate play.

“Barry is an intelligent footballer and he’s very creative. I know he has been here for a few years and done well and I think it suits him the way that we play and it gets the best out of him as a player. He is brilliant and you can see he is enjoying his football here.”

Saturday’s drab draw at lowly Reading stretched the Owls’ unbeaten streak to six matches. But Carvalhal’s under-performing players lie in 11th position, trailing sixth-placed Derby by six points.

Butterfield, a former Barnsley trainee, stressed: “We are not far off the play-offs.

“The league can change very quickly and look completely different if you can string back-to-back wins together.

“The sooner we can get into the play-offs the better.

“It will give everyone at the club a boost.”