Nobody seems quite sure what the future holds for Sheffield Wednesday this season, least of all the club, but that they are emerging as a serious force is undeniable.
Garry Monk’s side face the grim prospect of a points deduction but looming potential legal battles have been pushed to the back of minds.
Another deserved win, courtesy of Barry Bannan’s controversial 85th-minute penalty, hoisted them up to third in the Championship and extended an unbeaten run to six games.
Barry Bannan scored a late penalty to send Sheffield Wednesday third in the Championship
Kosovo-born striker Atdhe Nuhiu, whose huge 6ft 5in frame caused Bristol City problems all afternoon, was facing away from goal when he took a tumble under Tommy Rowe’s challenge.
Referee Tony Harrington pointed to the spot and Bannan, the game’s outstanding performer, made no mistake from 12 yards.
Monk said: ‘It was a penalty and we’re obviously delighted with the three points, but the most important thing is seeing the growth in the team.
Bannan punches the air in front of his home supporters knowing what a huge goal it could be
‘You go back a few months and, in these types of games, we were the ones who would maybe make a mistake or shoot ourselves in the foot.
‘We forced them to make the mistake and punished that to get a deserved three points. We’re not getting ahead ourselves because in this division you can sink down quickly.’
Just ask City who are having a wobble. They slipped to a third straight defeat and, despite Callum O’Dowda firing wide after 15 seconds and Jack Hunt having a second-half header cleared off the line by Liam Palmer, they lacked quality.
Sheffield Wednesday and Bristol City are play-off rivals and the hosts came out on top
City goalkeeper Daniel Bentley made a number of saves to keep his side in the game but was powerless to prevent Bannan slotting home, much to Lee Johnson’s disgust.
The Bristol boss, who hopes for ‘less quantity and more quality’ in his squad when the transfer window opens, said: ‘It was definitely not a penalty.
‘The referee has got sucked in and it’s actually arguable whether it was even in the box.’
The Owls fell out of the top flight in 2000 and have struggled to return.
Two decades on and something is stirring again in the blue and white half of the Steel City, although fears remain that all their good work could be undone by any points deduction.
The club were charged by the Football League last month over the sale of their stadium to owner Dejphon Chansiri to avoid breaking spending rules.
Monk, who suffered that fate during his time in charge of Birmingham, added: ‘We will remain focused on the football because it doesn’t stop us wanting to win football matches. That’s our duty.’Share or comment on this article: