Steve Bruce paid tribute to his Wednesday squad after the 2-0 victory over play-off chasing Bristol City at Hillsborough on Easter Monday.
First-half goals from Barry Bannan and Lucas Joao brought us another three points, leading Bruce to say afterwards: “In the first half we were excellent and overall we have to be delighted, to play again 48 hours after the Norwich game and the long trip, they deserve credit for that performance.”
Barry Bannan fired us ahead in spectacular fashion on 17 minutes, his long-range effort flying into the top corner, and five minutes from half-time the same player was the architect of our second goal.
When Bannan found Joao with a super through ball, the striker lobbed over keeper Max O’Leary and found the net, despite the attempts of Jay Dasilva to clear.
Dasilva had also earlier missed a good chance to equalise when he created the opening himself, only to shoot wide.
The visitors then had more of the game after the break but rarely threatened our goal until 10 minutes from time when Cameron Dawson pulled off an excellent double save from Famara Diedhiou and Josh Brownhill.
Bruce said: “Later on, we only got sloppy once and that’s when young Cameron made the double save, which for me was the highlight of the game after the goals.”
The Owls boss had made six changes for the match, including the resting of Steven Fletcher and Liam Palmer from the squad, and reflected: “We’re fortunate in that having a big squad it’s worked to our advantage today because we could mix it up a bit.”
In addition to his praise for Dawson, he said of the influential Bannan: “Well he is some player isn’t he. He’s a terrific footballer and we’ve seen that today.
“His goal was fantastic but the way he picked out Lucas for the second goal was remarkable, not many players see that pass.”
The win sees us in ninth place on 63 points, four behind Derby in the final play-off place with two matches remaining.
Referring to our tremendous upsurge in form since the turn of the year and the start of Bruce’s reign at the end of January, the manager said: “It’s been a remarkable turnaround and I can’t ask for any more than what the players have given.”
Dawson, Iorfa, Lees, Hector, Lazaar, Boyd (Forestieri 74), Bannan, Pelupessy, Reach, Joao (Matias 88), Hooper (Onomah 60).