Exclusive Blog with Sheffield Wednesday’s talisman playmaker Barry Bannan

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The third round of the FA Cup is one of the biggest weekends in English football - and this year two of the traditional big clubs of yesteryear have been drawn to face each other in the shape of Sheffield Wednesday against Newcastle.

Wednesday have fallen from the heights of the past when they were Premier League regulars but are getting themselves back on track and currently look likely to gain promotion back to the Championship by the end of the season.

The Owls entertain Newcastle at Hillsborough on Saturday in a clash sure to be one of the hottest atmospheres in the country - and there are genuine hopes of an upset against the high-flying Geordies.

Stake spoke exclusively to Wednesday’s talisman playmaker Barry Bannan, a former Scotland international, to look ahead at one of the ties of the round.

Sheffield Wednesday versus Newcastle - this is a proper clash of two big clubs of past years?

Yes - you can see it just when you come to the stadium.

It used to hold semi-finals and stuff in the FA Cup back in the days as well.

So there's no getting away from it, it’s a big club.

We've got a big club as well coming to face us, who are in a better place at the minute. But in the old days they're probably on a level par playing field.

Well supported clubs who are separated in the league at the minute, and it's a shame, but we are working hard to narrow that and get back to where we want to be.

So with you pushing for promotion, this game gives your fans a taste of what they can look forward to in the future if you continue to improve?

Yeah, of course. It will be a great atmosphere.

I know, from playing against Newcastle in my career going there and also seeing their travelling fans who will travel in numbers, it'll be loud.

With it being a Premier League team, we'll probably sell a bit more than we normally have as well from the League One games, so it will make out for a top atmosphere.

Noise wise and fans wise this could be one of the biggest clashes of the third round.

You normally see Premier League sides perhaps making changes for these matches, whereas even though you’re pushing for promotion from League One, this will be taken just as seriously?

Yeah, it's all about momentum. Premier League teams have obviously got bigger things at stake.

Newcastle have got a quarter-final next week (Carabao Cup) which they may be looking at because they want to win a trophy this season, as they haven't won one for a while and they're not far away.

They're doing well in the league as well so they may take their eye off the ball a little bit and change it around.

But they’re going to be a strong side no matter what. We know that they are top team and they've got a good bench as well.

So we just need to focus on playing our game and giving the best account of ourselves.

We probably need a bit of luck but it's the FA Cup - you see it every round there are shock results so there's no reason why we can't be the shock of this round.

So what’s the difference when you come up against players from the top division?

It's probably the concentration and the quality on the ball for longer periods of the game.

And the difference from the Premier League to the Championship and so on is obviously quality.

You can get quality with money which the Premier League have got in abundance.

But we played Manchester City in the last couple of years, and they beat us 1-0.

If you switch off for a minute against these sorts of teams they can punish you and that's the main difference because

We didn't have a lot of the ball that night, a lot of Premier League teams don't have much of the ball against Man City, but we were really in the game, it wasn't as if we were up against it.

They were keeping the ball but not really hurting us - but you switch you off for a second and they kill you.

So, I think that would be the biggest thing for us on Saturday night, the concentration levels and how long we can maintain it for.

FA Cup weeks always seem to be different - what is it that causes the excitement?

It's just something different. When you watch the draw you pray you get a Premier League team because you want to play against the best so we were lucky enough to get a Premier League team, and a top Premier League team at that in Newcastle.

So once that's made, everybody's buzzing.

I know it sounds weird because it's going to be a hard game and we're underdogs, but you want to play against Premier League teams, we all want to play in the Premier League.

We want to play against these players and you get a chance to do it and it's a one off game so anything can happen.

There's that extra buzz and it's on TV as well.

Everyone will be watching back home from wherever you've been brought up.

Everybody will be taking this game in so it's perfect for us really, it's the dream tie for us.

And it’s a chance for Wednesday to make a statement again, and remind people who big a club you are?

Of course. We believe we're a good team and we've probably got a chance to go and show that to the world on Saturday night.

It's on BBC, everybody will be tuning it, it's the FA Cup.

I remember growing up I used to watch these games because you want to see the small teams beating big teams, so you would tune in just to see what it's like.

So that's what will be happening on Saturday.

It's two big teams, one in League One and one in the Prem so it's just got everything about it to be a good cup tie.

We are confident, we're in a good run at the minute, confidence is sky high and in the changing room so we'll come out quietly confident of going and putting on a good performance and hopefully getting the result to match.