Wing merchant Ross Wallace fears Owls teammate Sam Hutchinson is becoming a “marked man” with referees.
Hutchinson, who replaced the injured Tom Lees at centre-back in Sunday’s goalless draw with Derby County, has accumulated an astonishing 11 bookings in 17 matches.
It was just a week ago that the 26-year-old admitted some his tackles have been “stupid and over enthusiastic” this season. As he candidly put it, Hutchinson said he needed to “grow up” and vowed to change his no-nonsense style.
But the former Chelsea youngster, who has already served two suspensions during the 2015/16 campaign, will receive a three-match ban if he reaches 15 cautions.
Wallace told The Star: “You could say that Sam is becoming a marked man. He did say he was going to calm down on his late tackles!
“Sam is going to have to be careful with the silly ones. He knows he is going to have to work on that but he has been different class for us this season. I don’t want to see him not putting in tackles and take that eagerness away from him. Sam has been outstanding. If we can keep him fit and get him back in the middle of the park, then we will be happy.”
The winger praised Hutchinson’s contribution after Wednesday recorded their fourth clean sheet in their last five Hillsborough outings.
“Sam is one of those players who can fill in anywhere,” said Wallace. “He is so enthusiastic, is quicker than you think and got stuck in against Derby.”
Wednesday, meanwhile, will host Championship rivals Fulham in the third round of the FA Cup. It means the Owls will face the Cottagers in successive weekends at the beginning of 2016.