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Sheffield Wednesday captain Barry Bannan dedicated his side’s incredible play-off win over Peterborough to boss Darren Moore.
Wednesday beat Posh on penalties on a breathtaking night at Hillsborough, recovering from a 4-0 first-leg deficit to draw 5-5 on aggregate after extra-time before their spot-kick success.
In the wake of Friday’s 4-0 loss at London Road, Moore was the subject of a racist social media post from a Wednesday fan which the club described as “repulsive”.
The supporter was banned for life by the Owls and, after Thursday night’s Sky Bet League One semi-final drama, Bannan paid tribute to his manager who he praised for not only handling the incident, but for making his players believe they could turn their situation around.
“What he’s done in the last week has been unbelievable, to turn around the mindset of the players, he had a massive job to do to try,” he told Sky Sports.
“I’m so proud of him, the way that he’s handled this week after the racism he’s received as well – that shouldn’t be anywhere near the football, never mind a manager who’s won 96 points as well. That one’s for him.”
Bannan’s words to the camera were also echoed in a candid dressing-room video shared by the club in which, after Moore praised the players, Bannan stepped forward to thank the manager on behalf of the club.
Speaking on Thursday after the incredible 120 minutes of action, Moore called it the best night of his managerial career.
“For me, it’s my best moment in terms of management,” said Moore, whose side will face either Barnsley or Bolton in the final at Wembley on May 29.
“To witness it and for it to come here, I couldn’t have wished for it to be at a better place, under the lights here at Hillsborough.
“Tonight will be special, but as I keep saying to them, we have got another game to go. We enjoy tonight and then focus on the Wembley game now.
“We had a rallying call to get the fans to come out and be in full voice and they were tonight. When the boys were cramping up tonight, the fans kept them going. The boys showed great character.”
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