Sheffield Wednesday: In-form Owls star says sorry to ‘magician’ over penalty

Barry Bannan
Barry Bannan

He has become the heartbeat of Wednesday’s midfield and been dubbed on social media an “absolute magician” by teammate Jack Hunt.

But Barry Bannan did lose one personal duel in the Owls’ much-needed victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend.

Fernando Forestieri

Fernando Forestieri

The diminutive midfielder argued with Fernando Forestieri over who should take Wednesday’s first half penalty against Wolves after Lucas Joao had been upended by a combination of Danny Batth and Matt Doherty. Ultimately, Forestieri had the final word, making no mistake from 12 yards.

“Barry was very sad because I took the ball for the penalty,” Forestieri told The Star. “I had to say sorry! He wanted it.”

Bannan, snapped up on a free transfer at the end of August, has featured prominently in the Owls’ rise up the standings. The Scotland international has produced a series of impressive performances and is on the brink of signing a new long-term contract with the Hillsborough outfit.

Forestieri said: “I like Barry and he is a very important player for Sheffield Wednesday. When you play next to Barry and Kieran Lee, you follow them because they want to win and fight for the team.

“The coach wants the strikers to work hard so the midfielders and defenders follow us.

“It’s great Barry is going to sign a new contract for here because he is a very important player.”

The former Watford forward missed out on the opportunity of bagging a hat-trick despite having 12 shots at goal on Sunday. That is the highest number of efforts by a player in the second-tier this campaign.

He said: “I tried to get a hat-trick and the other players kept on passing to me. I was sad. I tried to score a hat-trick but I couldn’t quite manage it. Hopefully I will next time.

“I will keep on trying but the most important thing is we won.

“If we keep playing like that, we can do something very good.”

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Forestieri, a £3m capture from Watford, has netted eight times in 16 appearances since joining Wednesday. The 25-year-old reckons he is in the best form of his career.

“For me, I have a lot of confidence because I have eight goals,” he stressed. “It’s important for me because I think I am starting to do the best in my career.

“Because of that I want to say thank you to the team and the gaffer because he has given a lot of confidence to me.

“When I started to play here, I didn’t play well because I didn’t feel good. The players have helped me to fit in a lot and I want to say thank you very much to them.”

Forestieri was pleased with how the team responded following their poor showing at MK Dons.

“I don’t know what happened against MK Dons,” he said. “We played so-so. We didn’t play like a team.

“When we don’t fight together, it is a big problem.

“If you look at the Premier League, Leicester fight for each other when they play Manchester United and Chelsea.

“We have to be compact and have a strong mentality.”

For Wednesday to maintain their promotion challenge, Forestieri has spoken of the importance of the team stringing a number of positive results together.

He said: “We feel confident and we showed against Wolves we can fight for something important. We can beat any team when we play like that.

“The Championship is a very hard division so we need to be more consistent but I think we can do good things in this league. We can’t win against Wolves and then lose the next game.

“The team and I are very confident but we need to win more games.”

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