Barnsley v Sheffield Wednesday: Sam Winnall backed to handle the derby heat at Oakwell

Sam Winnall makes his first return to Barnsley tomorrow since joining Sheffield Wednesday
Sam Winnall makes his first return to Barnsley tomorrow since joining Sheffield Wednesday

Sam Winnall will be ‘fully focused’ on securing three points for Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow, as the striker prepares for a daunting return to old club Barnsley.

Winnall felt the wrath of Reds fans at the beginning of this year when he left the club to join local rivals Wednesday and if social media is anything to go by then he is facing an icy reception in his first game at Oakwell since his departure.

However, according to teammate Morgan Fox, Winnall, who scored 48 goals in 115 appearances for Barnsley, has the mentality to brush off the expected jeers from the home fans.

While the spotlight from a Barnsley fan’s perspective may be on Winnall, for Wednesday, the match is huge as the Owls look to arrest a dip in form that has seen Carlos Carvalhal’s side win just once in their last six games.

“I’ve not been in that situation so I don’t really know how I would be feeling about (going back to an old club),” said Fox.

“You always hear stories about players scoring against their old clubs and it must give you that extra bit of motivation going into the game.

“Sam’s done brilliantly for us and if he gets the chance against Barnsley, I’m sure he’ll take it.”

“You have to be focused. If you are not focused and take the match in any other way then it will throw you off your game.

“Whatever the reception is like, I’m sure he will just play his usual game and, like I said, he has been brilliant for us since he came here.”

Meanwhile, Barnsley winger Adam Hammill, when asked about the prospect of facing his old teammate, joked: “Sam who?”

Hammill added: “He was absolutely tremendous here.”

“He was a great lad, a great player, but unfortunately he’s got the wrong colours on, on Saturday.

“Obviously we’ve missed him. I can see why he’s moved on. But as I said in the past, I made that mistake before and the grass isn’t always greener.”

Owls: P45/46/47