Sheffield Wednesday host Blackburn Rovers tomorrow in a game that could decide whether their late bid for the play-offs is a success or failure.
With so few games remaining, every point counts and the Owls will be looking to their big players to rise to the occasion and dispatch mid-table Rovers.
Tony Mowbray has done a fine job of establishing his side as a Championship club once more and whilst they’ve never quite ascended to the top six, they’ve never looked to be in danger of the drop.
The difference between the play-off hopefuls and the rest is that little bit of quality and as Mowbray explained, he believes the Owls have one player of ‘exceptional’ quality.
“Barry Bannan is an exceptional player at this level,” he is reported by Dom Howson as saying.
“They’re a handful and will be a threat, particularly with the crowd roaring them on and the expectation that they are on the cusp of the play-offs with the run they have been on.”
29-year-old Bannan has played 38 times for the Owls this season, scoring three goals. His last goal came on December 1st as Wednesday lost 4-2 at Ewood Park.
A win for Mowbray’s side would take them to within two points of the Owls, but they’re surely too far adrift of the top six to mount a late challenge of their own.
Mowbray isn’t wrong. Bannan is a class act, but hasn’t been as effective since early December as he had been prior to that.
He certainly suffered under the negative and misguided approach of Jos Luhukay but, on his day, he has the skill and guile to unlock any game he wishes.