Sheffield Wednesday: Goals, commitment and the Barry Bannan contract situation

Barry Bannan relived his Hillsborough wonder-goal and then said he'd settle for a few tap-ins as Sheffield Wednesday bid to keep climbing the Championship table.

Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 17:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 17:15 pm
Barry Bannan celebrates his goal with Liam Palmer

The midfield maestro capped a man-of-the-match performance with a stunning volley to help the Owls record their first league triumph of the season and end Millwall's unbeaten start in the process.

A 2-1 victory moved Wednesday up to 17th place, with a home game against winless Ipswich Town to come on Saturday, and Bannan, who is out of contract in the summer, is keen to keep himself on the scoresheet.

Goal joy

"I can't remember hitting a ball as sweet as that for a while," he said. "I had one similar here against Fulham, but this was probably better.

"Having said that, I would rather take four or five off my shin than just one that's well hit. I want more goals. I would love a tap-in or two."

The Scottish international is one of the most popular players at Hillsborough and fans are calling on the club to tie the 28-year-old to a new deal.

"Barry is a fantastic player. Everyone knows that," said boss Jos Luhukay. "There is no pressure. He is contracted to the end of the season. We have enough time and we know Barry feels good here. It's a positive situation."

The manager dodged questions about possible signings before the loan window closes next Friday. Wednesday had their transfer embargo lifted last week but have yet to strengthen their squad.

"Our focus and concentration is so important on the games," was how Luhukay responded. "We have important games in the league. In two or three days, we must have a new focus and concentration for Ipswich."

Bannan struck in the 16th minute against the Lions and centre-half Tom Lees added a second goal moments after the break before the visitors responded through Ryan Tunnicliffe and pushed in vain for an equaliser.

The midfielder added: "The win against Millwall was massive. It had not been a great start to the season. It feels mad to say, but this was a huge game.

"Considering we are only four games into the season, it was a big, big game for confidence and for the fans. We knew we needed the victory.

"We showed the grit and the determination needed, which is maybe something we hadn't shown before this season.

"People have talked about commitment and if we were motivated. You could see against Millwall (that we were). There were bodies being thrown on the line at the end. We were desperate to get the three points."

Centre-half Joost van Aken's ankle injury will keep him out of the squad to face Ipswich,  although striker Lucas Joao and defender Daniel Pudil (both groin) are on the verge of returns

"Daniel was not 100 per cent (for Millwall)," Luhukay said. "But it is not a dangerous injury. He has a little problem on his groin. I think he will maybe be available for Saturday.

"It will take a little bit of time with Joost. It is difficult to say how long in weeks."