Sheffield Wednesday: Quick-learning Joao hands Owls boss selection poser

Lucas Joao
Lucas Joao

Wednesday’s coaching staff have managed Lucas Joao’s development well in his first season in English football.

That is the opinion of Owls midfielder Barry Bannan ahead of tonight’s crunch clash at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Joao’s form tailed off after Christmas following a stellar October and November period.

But the 22-year-old is pressing hard for a starting berth after an impressive performance as a second half substitute against Rotherham United last weekend.

It was arguably the Portuguese international’s best performance in Owls colours since the turn of the year.

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Bannan told The Star: “Lucas is a talent. He has been brilliant over certain parts of the season. He was very good when he came on Saturday. He gave us something different. He did really well and it was good seeing him play well.

“Lucas is still a young boy and learning. For the foreign players coming over here, it is hard in the first season.

“You will see that with the foreign players that they have ups and downs. It is a tough league. It is completely different from what they are used to.

“I think the gaffer has managed Lucas really well sometimes by taking him out in certain parts of the season and letting him watch. I think he’s learning every game.”

Owls travel to Brighton chasing their first victory over a top-seven side. Carlos Carvalhal’s men have failed to win in nine attempts against their rivals, picking up a paltry six points.

Bannan stressed: “There are no favourites going into this game. We know on our day we can beat anyone in this crazy league. We will go there with a positive attitude.”

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Despite a four-match winless run, Wednesday still occupy the final play-off spot.

“There’s never a good time to have a blip,” admitted Bannan. “Everybody has a blip; a lot of teams above us have done and we are having one at the moment.

“We haven’t won in the last four games so we have got to try and get out of that. We were all obviously down after the game on Saturday. We have to quickly get that out of our system.

“We have got two great games coming up. Hopefully we can snap ourselves quickly out of this blip and get back to what we have been doing.”

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