Sheffield Wednesday: Carlos Carvalhal holds talks with Barry Bannan over his form

Barry Bannan
Barry Bannan

Carlos Carvalhal has held heart-to-heart talks with Owls midfielder Barry Bannan over his inconsistent form.

After delivering a man-of-the-match performance in Wednesday’s away win at Wigan Athletic, Bannan has failed to hit top gear in the Championship club’s last two outings.

But despite the Scotland international’s patchy displays, Carvalhal has backed Bannan to quickly get back to his best, starting at Nottingham Forest tomorrow.

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Head coach Carvalhal said: “The last two performances have not been Barry’s best and I have talked to him.

“He’s a player who all the time thinks in the correct way.

“He did some very good things in the last game with some poor things.

“He’s not a player I’m worried about. I know him very well. He’s a fighter and I have good expectations that we will see the best of Barry Bannan again on Saturday. He’s not a player I’m worried about.

“Not all the people can do 100 per cent all the time.

“When a player like Barry tries and fights a lot, I appreciate this and I know these kind of characters can change things in the mind very, very fast.

“I have good expectations that he will change everything in the mind on Saturday because he’s a fantastic footballer.”

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Carvalhal will check on Sam Hutchinson and Morgan Fox today before finalising his squad for their clash at 17th-placed Forest. Hutchinson suffered a hip injury in Tuesday’s narrow win over Blackburn Rovers while Fox was taken off at half-time due to tiredness. David Jones and Daniel Pudil could be handed first-team recalls if Hutchinson and Fox are ruled out but Carvalhal says he is confident they will be available for selection.

Vincent Sasso is likely to partner Glenn Loovens at centre-back, with Tom Lees still sidelined by a knee problem, as Wednesday chase a fourth win in a row.

Meanwhile, Blackburn midfielder Hope Akpan has been charged by the Football Association with violent conduct after he was sent off for pushing referee Scott Duncan.

The 25-year-old had a goal chalked off for handball in their 2-1 defeat against Wednesday before being red carded by Duncan for his protests.

Akpan is set to serve a standard three-match suspension following his dismissal, but could have his ban increased if the FA deems his original punishment insufficient.

Blackburn, who are second-from-bottom, two points shy of safety, have also been charged with failing to ensure players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.

Akpan and Rovers have until February 20 and 21 respectively to respond to the charge.

Winger Elliot Bennett has already been hit with a two-match suspension for using offensive language following the final whistle at Hillsborough.

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