Sheffield Wednesday: Jack Hunt is enjoying extended run in Owls side
Jack Hunt is convinced he is reaping the benefits of an extended run in the Wednesday team.
The right-back has cemented his place in Carlos Carvalhal’s back four, starting their last eight matches on the spin.
It might not sound a big achievement, but Carvalhal has frequently rotated his full-backs throughout his time in charge of the Hillsborough outfit.
But Hunt has been one of the Owls’ most consistent performers in the past two months. He weighed in with his second assist of the season in the win at Rotherham United, whipping in a glorious cross for Steven Fletcher’s second goal.
“I’ve been quite happy with how I’ve been playing recently,” he told The Star. “I was glad to get an assist at Rotherham. It gave me more confidence.
“The last two years have been the first time in my career where I’ve not had a lot of assists.
“I don’t know whether I’ve been trying too hard but the assists have not been coming and the quality of my crosses has not been as good as it should have been.
“But I’m feeling better about that side of my game after a few assists.”
The 26-year-old, who joined Wednesday on a permanent basis in January 2016 following a fruitful loan spell, says he has “definitely benefited” from playing regular first-team football.
He said: “I’m a player who likes to have a run in the team and you can definitely improve on things when you have that.
“The manager likes to rotate and you have to respect that but every player wants to play every game and that’s how you can get your head down and get a good run of form.”
The onus is always on the full-backs to get forward and provide the width in Carvalhal’s system. When he gets the chance to bomb on, Hunt rarely passes up an opportunity to supply ammunition for the forwards.
Hunt said: “I really like to go forward. When we are attacking, we are like the wingers.”
Injuries have limited Carvalhal’s options, with senior stars Tom Lees, Kieran Lee and Gary Hooper missing large chunks of the season.
“We’ve been really unlucky this year with injuries,” acknowledged Hunt. “We have had to adapt how we play. At times, it has been tough but we are playing a lot more solid.”
With Hunt nailing down the right-back spot, Liam Palmer has been forced to play second fiddle. The Owls academy graduate has not made a single competitive appearance since February 21.
Palmer lined up in central midfield in Wednesday’s Under-23s 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United at Middlewood Road on Monday.