Sheffield Wednesday: How mastering the art of winning ugly could help grab a top-two place for Owls, according to Barry Bannan
Barry Bannan believes the Owls are serious automatic promotion candidates - because they have learned how to win ugly this season.
Wednesday, who have reportedly had a bid turned down for Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes this week, take on second-placed Brighton and Hove Albion tonight seeking to stretch their unbeaten Championship run to seven matches.
And Bannan reckons the Owls, who will move up to fourth with a win in front of the TV cameras, insists the team are prioritising substance over style in their quest to go up.
“People might not think we are doing well and it might be because we aren’t playing some of the fancy football we did last year,” said the midfielder. “But we were playing this football a lot of the time last season and not getting much for it.
“This season, we have not been as good going forward, but we are getting results and winning games and that is what you have to do in this league.
“I think Burnley were pretty similar when they got promoted and you wouldn’t have looked at them and said that they were quite pleasing on the eye. But if it gets you to the Premier League, so be it.”
Asked if a top-two finish is achievable, Bannan said: “That’s what we are pushing for and you have to set your standards high and that’s what we want to do.
“We think and know we can still get that, it is just about going out and showing it. We are going to aim for automatic and if you don’t make it, then hopefully it’s the play-offs.”
He expects the battle for promotion to go right down to the wire.
Bannan said: “It is an open league and will probably be similar with ten games to go. There will be teams who get in there who you don’t expect and teams who fall away who you don’t. There’s still ages to go and you can’t predict what will happen.”