Carlton Palmer has urged Sheffield Wednesday to play at a quicker tempo this evening to get the best out of Barry Bannan as they look to overcome Sunderland to reach the play-off final.
The Owls go into the clash at Hillsborough trailing by a single goal, after a disappointing performance on Wearside.
Whilst Darren Moore’s side improved in the second half, they struggled to get to grips with the hosts at times and the usually influential Bannan wasn’t at his best.
The Scotsman, who has been outstanding this season, will be crucial if Wednesday are to progress and former player Palmer explained how they need to move the ball swiftly to ensure Bannan can hurt the Black Cats.
“They’ve got to get Barry Bannan in the game. He was not in the game at Sunderland. And, I know what they’ve tried to do, they’ve tried to get Barry playing further forward, so when he picks up the ball or receives the ball, he’s in an area or areas where he can hurt the opposition.
“Well, they flooded that area, so Barry wasn’t able to get on to the ball, but Wednesday also passed the ball poorly, so they’ve got to pass the ball quicker.”
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You would expect Wednesday to be in control this evening, with Sunderland likely to sit back to play on the counter. So, as Palmer says, they need to play at a high tempo.
As he points out, that will allow them to get Bannan on the ball higher up the pitch, as it may be easier to defend against Wednesday if he keeps dropping deep to start attacks.
The home crowd will demand Wednesday go at the visitors from the first whistle and Bannan could be the man to take Wednesday to Wembley if he is at his best.
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