Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Adam Reach has admitted he expects Barry Bannan to reach at least 10 goals this season, if Sheffield Wednesday continue to use him in a more advanced role.
Carlos Carvalhal opted to give Bannan a free role from midfield during Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie with Chesterfield, and the Scotsman put in an outstanding display, grabbing his first goal in almost a year.
The 27-year-old is not known as a goalscoring midfielder, finding the net on just 10 occasions throughout his domestic career.
However, Reach has backed his teammate to reach double figures this season for the first time in his career, if Carvalhal continues to use Bannan in a more advanced role, he said: “Baz, playing in more of an advanced role, showed everyone that he is a quality player and a player of his quality should be scoring goals like that.
“I am fully confident that he will be close to double figures if he plays in those positions as he’s a great player.”
Wednesday suffered a disappointing defeat on the opening day of the Sky Bet Championship season, as Preston North End handed Carvalhal’s side a 1-0 defeat, piling the pressure on the Owls early in the campaign.
Carvalhal will have been encouraged by their 4-1 victory over Chesterfield in the cup, and will be hoping his side can pick up their first three-points of the season in the coming week, with back-to-back home fixtures.
Queens Park Rangers visit Hillsborough on Saturday afternoon, before Sunderland head to South Yorkshire on Wednesday evening.
Bannan is one of Wednesday’s most important players, whether he plays in a deep role or a more advanced one.
The Scottish international certainly has the talent to add to his goal tally, but it is unlikely Carvalhal will play him in a more advanced role going forward, with Fernando Forestieri likely to play behind the striker.
Regardless of where Bannan plays next weekend, Carvalhal will be hopeful he will be at his best, with Wednesday in desperate need of three-points, even at such an early stage of the season.
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