Sheffield Wednesday: Why tough-tackling Sam Hutchinson is key to Owls success

Sam HutchinsonSam Hutchinson
Sam Hutchinson
It is fair to say Owls fans have grown extremely fond of Sam Hutchinson's aggressive, uncompromising style of play.

It is all or nothing with the versatile Wednesday star, who has established himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet under Carlos Carvalhal.

Supporters love Hutchinson’s passion and commitment and they underlined their appreciation for him last weekend. The decibels rose even louder at Hillsborough after he made a strong triple challenge in the first half of their win over Preston North End.

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Although Hutchinson reverted to centre-back following Glenn Loovens’ injury, the former Chelsea youngster has started the last three matches in the defensive midfield position, helping the Owls pick up seven points.

Teammate Adam Reach told The Star: “Sam knows the role well. He offers a lot of protection.

“He doesn’t try anything too fancy with the ball. He’s a good player and knows his responsibilities there and I think we look a stronger outfit with Sam in the side.”

Discipline remains a concern with Hutchinson, who has accrued four bookings and been sent off once this season.

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Reach, who praised the resilience Wednesday showed against his old club Preston, said: “Tackling is part of Sam’s game. It gets all the fans and players fired up. He holds back on them in training but once he is over the white line he wants to win.

“With Sam in midfield, he gives us that little bit of protection which allows Jack [Hunt] and I to go forward more. We have got a good balance in the team.”

Club-record buy Reach, primarily a winger, has been selected ahead of Daniel Pudil in the left-back role in the last two matches.

“I don’t mind where I play as long as I’m on the pitch,” he stated. “Even at left-back, I will try and be as positive as I can, albeit the defensive duties are my priority. I will give my best wherever I play.

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“The manager wants me to defend first and foremost but nowadays full-backs are so attacking and can be massive threats. I think Jack and I have done well in the last few games. We had to change things up a little in the second half on Saturday but all in all it is going well.”

He has enjoyed linking up with Barry Bannan on the left flank.

“We have got a good relationship,” he said. “Barry knows my strengths and I know mine and we work well together.”

The Owls will be without the services of Fernando Forestieri when they travel to high-flying Reading this weekend. The forward is ruled out of their next three matches following his dismissal against Preston.

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“Fernando has been fantastic but we have enough strength in the squad,” said Reach. “Fletch [Steven Fletcher] came on and Lucas [Joao] is doing well and we have got Attey [Atdhe Nuhiu] so we will be fine.”