Sheffield Wednesday: Jack Hunt aims to put his injury frustration behind him

Two matches. Two knocks.

Thursday, 9th February 2017, 1:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 11:44 am
Jack Hunt

You could have forgiven Jack Hunt for feeling the January blues after the Owls’ clashes against promotion rivals Huddersfield Town and Brighton and Hove Albion.

The full-back was forced off in both fixtures.

Jack Hunt is stretchered off at Brighton

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“I came off with a knock to the head against Huddersfield,” Hunt told The Star. “The doctors advised me not to carry on.

“I was dizzy and had blurred vision in one eye.”

Hunt was unable to continue versus Brighton after a high tackle in the first half by defender Sébastien Pocognoli.

He said: “I came off quite early against Brighton and I was thinking ‘am I ever going to play 90 minutes again?”

Jack Hunt is stretchered off at Brighton

No wonder Hunt was relieved to come through last week’s trip to Wigan Athletic unscathed. He was preferred at right-back to Liam Palmer.

Hunt, an unused substitute at Bristol City, said: “I didn’t play at Bristol but I support the lads 100 per cent.

“I was disappointed and I know the lads were personally not to come away with three points at Bristol.

“But the manner of the equaliser was tough on us as it was a hopeful shot from the edge of the area which took a massive deflection. We could have maybe gone 3-2 up but it wasn’t meant to be.

“I was delighted to play at Wigan. It wasn’t a pretty performance but we kept a clean sheet and came away with three points so you can’t really ask anymore.”

Sixth-placed Wednesday are gearing up for a Hillsborough double-header, starting against Birmingham City tonight.

“We must take care of our own business,” stressed Hunt. “You can’t finish in the play-offs this weekend. The season doesn’t end until May 7.”

Birmingham have fallen out of the promotion picture after a poor run of results. Lukas Jutkiewicz’s goal against 10-man Fulham last weekend handed Gianfranco Zola his first win since becoming Blues boss in mid-December. It was Birmingham’s first victory in 11 outings in all competitions.

Zola will be without the services of ex-Owls players Michael Morrison and Jacques Maghoma this evening. Centre-half Morrison is expected to be out of action for several weeks after undergoing groin surgery while Maghoma is nursing a knee injury. Ryan Shotton is also ruled out.

Birmingham, lying in 12th position, trail Wednesday by nine points but Zola sees no reason why they can’t be involved in the promotion shake-up.

The Italian said: “Of course we have to set a good target, which is not easy but is achievable. We are going to try very hard. Were we ever looking over our shoulder? I wasn’t looking up or down I was looking at how the team was improving and settling as a team.”

Zola has praised in-form striker Jutkiewicz, saying: “His goal return is very good and his work-rate so far has been exceptional.”