Sheffield Wednesday: Hutchinson bids for comeback

Sam Hutchinson has recovered from a knee injury and illness
Sam Hutchinson has recovered from a knee injury and illness

Sam Hutchinson could be back to add midfield beligerence to Wednesday’s bid to bounce back against Blackburn tomorrow.

Although the Owls did not lose at Forest, the manner of their draw felt like a defeat to Stuart Gray and players.

There is also the need to return to normal home form and reassure the Hillsborough crowd that the Watford game was just a blip.

Hutchinson was hit by a knee problem followed by illness but has rejoined training. He could come in for Giles Coke.

“We just need to get some food in him, refuel him, and hopefully he’ll play some part on Saturday,” says Stuart Gray.

Hutchinson’s bite and Kieran Lee’s quality have been a winning combination in the club’s great revival - as has the centre-back partnership between Glenn Loovens and Oguchi Onyewu.

Loovens is out again; if Onyewu passes a fitness tomorrow then he will have recovered ahead of schedule but Gray is inclined not to rush him back too soon and says both players hopefully will be ready for next Friday’s game at Bournemouth.

Blackburn are unbeaten in seven games and four points off the top six, and have just beaten both Ipswich and QPR 2-0 at home.

“It’s a difficult game against a team who probably think they’re got a chance of the play-offs,” said Gray.

“What we need to do is get back to winning ways at home, and break that 50-point barrier. Hopefully we’ll do that on Saturday.

“I’m sure Gary (Bowyer) will have Blackburn fired up. We had a good game at their place; it was (0-0) draw but I felt we should have won.

“One thing we do know is we’ve got to keep Jordan Rhodes quiet. He’s top drawer, as in finishing. He probably just needs one chance in a game. We maybe need to create three or four chances for individuals to score goals. Up until the Watford game, our home form was good, To concede four goals at home wasn’t good enough, and we want to put that right. Blackburn at home doesn’t put any fear into us. It’s a good game for us and we’ll be at it.”

Before winning their last two games, Blackburn drew four matches in succession, against Leicester at home, Watford away, Millwall away and Brighton at home.

Rovers will include ex-Wednesday left back Tommy Spurr but are still without Ben Marshall, who starred while on loan with the Owls; he has an ankle injury.

Luke Varney, another ex-Hillsborough loan forward, is on loan from Leeds and likely to remain on the bench.

Rovers could well field the same side that started against QPR on Tuesday.

Spurr scored one of the goals - his third since he joined Rovers from Doncaster in the summer.