Sheffield Wednesday: Utility star Sam shines in defensive role

Sam Hutchinson
Sam Hutchinson
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Wherever he is asked to operate on the pitch, Sam Hutchinson inevitably puts in a strong, aggressive performance.

The former Chelsea youngster is happy to play anywhere for the benefit of the team.

It was no different on Tuesday evening. Wednesday utilised Hutchinson’s combative qualities at centre-back in their home draw with promotion-chasing Burnley.

Some footballers would find the constant interchanging of roles unsettling, but not Hutchinson. He does a steady, understated job whether he is deployed at centre-half, right-back or in the middle of the park. His enthusiasm, solid positioning and extra pace helped the Owls contain Sam Vokes and Andre Gray in the second half.

Head coach Carlos Carvalhal told The Star: “Sam did very well at centre-back against Burnley and played at a good level.

“He has played there before and we played him there because we know that Vokes is strong in the air and that Gray is quick.

“Sam is strong in the air and very fast.

“He can play all the positions. If I put him at right-back or in midfield, I know he will do a good job with full energy.”

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Competition for places at centre-back is set to hot up shortly as Tom Lees and Michael Turner are edging closer to full fitness. Lees registered in the Owls Under-21s victory over Nottingham Forest in midweek. Turner and Caolan Lavery also featured.

It was Lees’ first run-out since hurting his hamstring in their Capital One Cup quarter-final defeat to Stoke City in December. His presence has been sorely missed in the last 13 matches.

“It is good Tom is back,” admitted Carvalhal. “We played Tom and Michael because the need games.

“We had the chance to put them in and they did very well.

“A lot of players are recovering from pains. We have more options at the moment.”

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