Sheffield Wednesday star Barry Bannan has put local animosity to one side to praise the impact bitter rivals Sheffield United have made on the Premier League this season, while speaking to the Mirror (22 November, page 70).
It has been an excellent couple of weeks for both sides of the Steel City.
Wednesday have soared up the Championship table since Garry Monk was appointed back in September and they are now just three points off the play-offs heading into a hectic festive schedule.
United, meanwhile, have been nothing short of a revelation in their first top flight campaign in 12 years. Chris Wilder’s side are fifth, unbeaten away from home and with the best defensive recordin the entire division. Last time out, Sheffield United outplayed Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur on their own North London turf.
“You have to take your hat off to them,” former Aston Villa playmaker Bannan admitted. “They’ve gone to the Premier League and they have been brilliant this season.
“Obviously as a Sheffield Wednesday player you don’t want that to happen but you just have to congratulate them. Fair play.
“Of course we want to get to those levels – that is the ambition of the club and that is what we are fighting for.”
1994 was the last time two clubs from Sheffield were playing alongside each other in the Premier League but, as long as Wilder and Monk continue their respective heroics in South Yorkshire, don’t rule out the prospect of a first top-flight Steel City derby in 25 years.
Have something to tell us about this article?