Sheffield Wednesday: '˜We are in a bad moment,' admits Owls fans favourite
His uncompromising, no-nonsense displays in the midfield engine room have won him a place in the hearts of lots of Owls fans.
But Sam Hutchinson’s passionate, straight-talking honesty off the pitch has also earned him plenty of admirers over the years.
Although Wednesday have reached the play-offs in the last two campaigns, Carlos Carvalhal’s side are currently in mid-table and a whopping 10 points off the Championship’s top six.
Hutchinson told The Star: “It hasn’t gone our way, and it’s the first moment since Carlos came - and the majority of players have been here - that we are in a bad moment.
“It’s only going to be hard work, grit and determination -and everyone sticking together - that we are going to get out of it.
“Everyone has to take responsibility. I don’t think it’s solely on the players, or the gaffer, the club, these things happen. Sometimes you have a bad season, no-one wants to hear it, but we are not deliberately going out there to lose games.
“We are training hard, but it’s just not happening. Fingers crossed, we can turn it around and have a good go in the second half of the season.We need to win games.”
The Owls host Middlesbrough today on the back of a six-match winless run and Carvalhal has come under-fire from some sections of the fan-base following a disappointing season.
But Hutchinson insists the players are firmly behind the Wednesday head coach.
He said: “I think you saw that (against Wolves), the players played for 90 minutes.
“I am not here to speak about the gaffer, that’s the chairman’s job. We all want to play for the gaffer, I think you can see that, we have had two great seasons with him. He is the same as us, he doesn’t want to lose games.
“He doesn’t go out there to lose a game. We are trying; it’s just not working at the moment. When you are on a losing run, it’s hard to get out of it. We need to stop it and do something about it.
“Maybe get a few injured players back, and tearing into a few people might help, you never know. Something has to change, but to what extent I don’t know because I haven’t been around it much.”
Hutchinson will make his first start in over two months this afternoon, having recovered from knee surgery. He thinks the Owls have struggled to cope without influential forward Fernando Forestieri, pictured left.
“Nando has been a big miss, because he gives you something different,” said Hutchinson. “Like what [Anthony] Knockaert did for Brighton - and he was probably the best at it, he was their special player. Apart from him (Forestieri), we have great players but I don’t think anybody affects the side - or can do what he can do in a game. He brings you tenacity and skill. We miss him.”
Injury problems have plagued Hutchinson over the last seven months.
He said: “It has been horrendous. I fractured my leg against QPR, and it didn’t get diagnosed for a month because the scans were read wrong. That ended up splintering, hence the reason why I played against Bolton then had to have an operation afterwards to get a bone removed.
“It was a bit of bone sticking in another bit of bone, which needed to be removed. It’s just been a nightmare, a freak thing that just sums up my career really.
“I struggled. It was probably one of the darkest moments I have had - the worst season I have had here. But you come out at the end of it, and crack on.”
When pressed on his fitness now, Hutchinson said: “I am feeling really good. I returned to training two days before the Wolves game, but had to be careful as I was six weeks ahead of schedule.
“I should have been out until January, February.”