Meet the opposition | Sheffield Wednesday
As Swansea City prepare to face Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough this weekend, we take a closer look at the Owls.
What’s their story?
Wednesday are now in their ninth consecutive Championship season since being promoted to the second tier following a second-place finish in League One in 2012.
They came close to returning to the Premier League twice under former Swans boss Carlos Carvalhal – in 2016 and 2017 – but have not finished higher than 12th in the three years since.
It is now 20 years since the Owls last appeared in the top flight, and almost 30 years since their only major trophy – the 1991 League Cup. They went on to reach the FA Cup and League Cup finals two years later.
How's their form?
Improving. Hindered by a points penalty, Wednesday went through a wretched run of 19 games without a win in all competitions at one stage.
But that has started to turn around until Neil Thompson, and they have lost just two of their last nine Championship fixtures.
They have won seven of their last 11 in all competitions and their win over Wycombe in midweek saw them climb out of the bottom three.
Who’s the boss?
Neil Thompson. The former defender has overseen an upturn in fortunes since stepping in as interim manager in the wake of Tony Pulis’ departure.
The 57-year-old enjoyed a long playing career where he represented Nottingham Forest, Hull, Scarborough, Ipswich, Barnsley, Oldham, York and Boston.
He had stints in charge of York, Scarborough and Boston as player-manager, and had previously worked in the Wednesday academy set-up before joining the first-team staff.
Who’s the captain?
Barry Bannan was given the armband at the start of this season, replacing Tom Lees as skipper. The experienced midfielder has racked up over 200 appearances for the Owls during five years at Hillsborough.
The winner of 27 Scotland caps, Bannan has been an ever-present in the heart of Wednesday’s midfield so far this season.
The 30-year-old, who started out at Aston Villa, has also played for Derby, Blackpool, Leeds, Crystal Palace and Bolton during his career.
Who are the key men?
The Owls acquired Callum Paterson from Cardiff in September and the Scot is their topscorer so far this season with seven goals and one assist to his name.
Midfielder Adam Reach is a classy midfield operator with a reputation for scoring spectacular goals, while skipper Bannan is a key figure in keeping Wednesday ticking over with and without the ball.
Jordan Rhodes is a proven goalscorer at this level, while Julian Borner is an important and reliable performer in the Owls’ defence.