Three things The Star learned after Owls' victory over Brentford
Sheffield Wednesday turned on the style to thrash 10-man Brentford at Hillsborough on Saturday.
Goals from Fernando Forestieri, Gary Hooper, Kieran Lee and Lucas Joao helped the Owls record their biggest win of the campaign.
Back-to-back victories sees Carlos Carvalhal’s side move up to fifth, trailing second-placed Middlesbrough by only four points.
Here are three things The Star learned from Wednesday’s 10th home win of the season:
Barry Bannan has to be one of the best free transfer signings of the season.
Opponents can ill-afford to give Bannan time and space to dictate play. He oozed class and ran the show versus Brentford, completing more passes than any other player. Ninety eight of his 112 passes found their mark. He always demands the ball and wants to be at the heart of the action.
His drive, energy and enthusiasm rubs off on his teammates. If there has been a better free transfer signing in the Championship than Bannan this season, I haven’t seen it.
Head coach Carlos Carvalhal is managing striker Lucas Joao well
Brentford must be sick of the sight of Lucas Joao. Twice the Portugal international has stepped up off the defence to breach their rearguard this campaign. Five of his eight Owls goals have come from the bench and he has yet to finish on the losing side when he has found the back of the net in his fledgling career. He is a good impact player.
Following his purple patch between October and November, Joao’s form and level of performances markedly dipped. Carvalhal took him out of the firing line, preferring to use him as a sub.
Ending his lean spell in front of goal should do Joao’s confidence a power of heading into the final two and a half months of the regular season.
Keeping a clean sheet capped off a fine day’s work
We all know boss Carlos Carvalhal is not fussed over recording shut-outs. Entertaining the public and out-scoring the opposition is what he prides himself on.
But given Wednesday have had a number of injuries in the goalkeeping and defensive departments of their team throughout the 2015/16 campaign, a clean sheet should not be sniffed at. It was Keiren Westwood’s first shut-out of 2016 and only their third in the last nine outings.