Sheffield Wednesday: Sam Hutchinson taking change in his stride

Sam Hutchinson has taken his return to centre half in his stride

Sam Hutchinson has taken his return to centre half in his stride

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Not too long ago, all talk about Sam Hutchinson centred on his rather alarming disciplinary record.

A two match ban followed a run of ten yellow cards in 13 appearances, during which at least a couple of bookings could easily have been dismissals.

Hutchinson is full of praise for former Owls head coach Stuart Gray

Hutchinson is full of praise for former Owls head coach Stuart Gray

But, a month after returning to action, Hutchinson is Sheffield Wednesday’s renaissance man – and not just because he has only been booked once since.

For the last three games, due to defensive injuries, the 26-year-old has started at centre back.

And to say he has carried over the excellent form he was displaying in the heart of midfield shows just how impressive he has been.

It is no surprise to find the confident former Chelsea prospect has taken it all in his stride.

“I hadn’t done it for three years or so,” Hutchinson said. “It’s not new to me because I’d played there for quite a while.

“Originally I’m a right back but I can play centre back.

“It’s obviously timing with headers you have to get used to and defending in a different way.

“But anyone who can read a football game can play in many positions.

“I have had that chance to do it because the manager has a space he needs to fill.

“People say I can play here or there but it’s just about being able to read and play football.

“I could play both full backs, centre back in midfield if I have to.”

It is clear to see Hutchinson enjoys the rough and tumble of life in midfield.

And he makes no apologies for his style, even if it does get him into trouble.

He said: “It’s definitely more enjoyable in midfield.

“You play in a different way.

“When I was at Chelsea and I played at the back, I never got booked.

“Obviously with learning the position at central midfield, I’ve made some rash tackles.

“But I’m also doing a job for the team there.

“If that’s what I’ve got to do, that’s what I’ve got to do, no matter if people are going to criticise me for getting booked or making stupid tackles.

“I’m going to do it for the team. I always put the team first and no one can say I don’t.”

Today sees Wednesday come face to face with former head coach Stuart Gray for the first time since he left Hillsborough last summer.

Hutchinson praised the work of the 55-year-old, who is now the senior coach at Fulham, working under new head coach Slavisa Jokanovic.

“Stuart was the reason I signed here after my loan spell,” Hutchinson said.

“The beginning of last season was great under him. I started off really well, got injured and never got fit again.

“I struggled throughout the season which was nothing to do with Stuart, it was down to my own fitness. I needed a good pre-season.

“Stu was fantastic, he was for me and I wish him all the best.

“He’s gone in to Fulham and knows some of our lads so it’s going to be interesting on Saturday.”