George Hirst will be wanting to prove a point to Sheffield Wednesday admits Barry Bannan

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY captain Barry Bannan has acknowledged that returning former Owls striker George Hirst will have a point to prove as he aims to spoil the Owls' party in front of over 33,500 fans at Hillsborough on Saturday.

George Hirst in his Sheffield Wednesday days. Picture: Steve Ellis.
George Hirst in his Sheffield Wednesday days. Picture: Steve Ellis.

Portsmouth forward Hirst, son of Wednesday legend David, admits he is "not expecting the greatest reception" when he returns to his former club.

The 23-year-old is expected to lead the line for Pompey and is in form after scoring twice in the midweek win over Wigan. All told, Hirst - on a season-long loan from Leicester City - has scored 14 times for the Fratton Park outfit.

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It will be the first time Hirst has played at Hillsborough since leaving in the summer of 2018 after rejecting a contract extension to join Belgian side OH Leuven. He later joined Leicester.

Hirst was booed by Wednesdayites in the reverse fixture on the south coast in December.

Bannan, aiming to help the Owls book a play-off spot with a victory over Pompey, said: "Yes, I think so.

"He's on a good run of form at the minute and has scored a lot of goals. Strikers want to score goals and this will be now different.

"A few of our boys have trained and played with him and they have a lot of players who have got strengths. It is not just George Hirst."

On Pompey, who have won four of their past five games in an unbeaten run, taking 13 points from their last 15, he added: "They are a very good team and we found it hard down at their place.

"They gave us a really tough game and we were down to 10 men and held on towards the end. We are a different team now as we had a makeshift backline.

"We are a different animal now and especially with our home form this season, we have got to capitalise on that.

"But we know it is going to be a tough game, even though they are not playing for anything. Sometimes, these are harder games against teams with no pressure who can enjoy the occasion.

"They are one of the best teams in the league and probably in a false position in the table as I think they are one of the better teams we have played this season.