Sheffield Wednesday: Hutchinson boost for Owls

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Influential Owls midfielder Sam Hutchinson could be fit for the trip to Middlesbrough this weekend.

The former Chelsea player was sent for a scan yesterday, having been forced off in the second half of the midweek draw with Millwall because of a back problem.

Owls star Sam Hutchinson

Owls star Sam Hutchinson

But The Star understands Hutchinson’s injury is not as bad as first feared, meaning he may feature at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.

It would be a major positive for Sheffield Wednesday if the 25-year-old was deemed fit enough to play as they search for a second successive away triumph in the Championship. Hutchinson has been instrumental in the Owls’ unbeaten start to the campaign.

After Hutchinson went off, the Owls failed to see out Tuesday’s match against Millwall, conceding an equaliser in the fifth minute of added on time.

Right-back Liam Palmer admitted the team were “gutted” not to record their first Hillsborough victory in the Championship this season.

He said: “It was tough to take. We rode our luck a bit. We were 10 seconds away from another clean sheet and a massive three points. When you concede that late on, it feels like a loss.

“It’s just disappointing we couldn’t hang on. We’ve got to finish teams off when we do get one nil up.

“We were thinking it was our day when they missed the penalty.

“We’ve got to remember it was a draw and although it does feel like a loss when you concede that late on, we are still unbeaten.

“We’ve got to keep that confidence, dust ourselves down and look to go again on Saturday.”

Reigning player of the year Palmer has been one of Wednesday’s stand-out performers in their opening four fixtures.

“I’ve been enjoying playing week in, week out,” he said.

“Whenever I am picked, I will give 100 per cent. I feel I have been doing really well so far and I just want to keep that up.”

On the team’s good form, he said: “We are all working hard for each other. There is a good chemistry in the group.

“In terms of the back four, we have gelled really quickly and the goal against Millwall was the first one we have conceded. It was hard to take in the manner it came about.

“I just think everyone is working hard for the manager and for each other and that is showing on the pitch.”

Wednesday’s development squad, meanwhile, opened their season with a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace yesterday after goals either side of half-time from Rhys McCabe and Manny Dieseruvwe.

Coach Lee Bullen said: “I was very happy with our first half performance. I thought we were really good.

“I think a lot of players let themselves down in the second half. We didn’t retain possession as well so I gave them a rollocking at the end of the game.

“It’s all about making the right decisions at the right time and we didn’t do that after the break.”