Fit-again Gary Hooper backed to fire Sheffield Wednesday to Championship success

Gary Hooper's return to action has further lifted spirits in the Sheffield Wednesday dressing room going into the final month of the season.

Friday, 5th April 2019, 3:41 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th April 2019, 11:18 am

That is the view of Owls centre-half Michael Hector as Steve Bruce's side prepare to entertain promotion-chasing Aston Villa.

Hooper made his first Wednesday appearance in over 15 months in Saturday's goalless draw at Stoke City. The centre-forward, who has been plagued by a number of injury problems throughout his Owls career, played over an hour as Bruce's men extended their unbeaten run to 12 matches.

Now Hooper is pushing to make his first home start since December 2017.

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"He is a proven striker in the Championship and him just being around the place has given everyone a bit of a buzz," Hector told The Star. "You see his quality in training every day and he just needs some more minutes under his belt and a bit more sharpness.

"But it will come and he will be a good help to the squad."

Hooper could be partnered up front by Steven Fletcher, who is available for selection again having shrugged off a groin injury.

Gary Hooper is in contention to make his first Hillsborough start since December 2017

Hector said: "He (Hooper) is a laid-back, cool guy and you can see his class on the pitch and that he has played at a high level.

"When he has a chance, he usually puts it in the back of the net in training. It helps as a defender as he is sharp. Hopefully, he will score a lot of goals before the end of the season and that will help us."