Sam Hutchinson believes Sheffield Wednesday have learned how to win ugly following their fifth consecutive Hillsborough triumph.
A second-half brace from Gary Hooper maintained the Owls’ 100 per cent start to 2016 and victory lifted them into the Championship’s top-six for the first time since opening day.
Hutchinson, who picked up his 12th yellow card of the campaign after upending Mustapha Carayol in the first half, reckons the team will only get stronger over the coming months.
“I don’t think we have played as well as we were doing before Christmas but we have won the games,” said the defensive midfielder. “That’s a sign of us getting stronger as a collective unit and as a team.
“I think we can play better but we are still winning games and if you look at the teams who have gone up or teams who are in the top half, they do that really well. We are grinding out results at the moment.
“We were brilliant in the first 25 minutes of the second half and ground out the result.”
Wednesday are on a 13-match unbeaten run in all competitions in their backyard.
“We have got a style of play that helps on a bigger pitch,” said Hutchinson.
“We like to move the ball quickly and there is more space at Hillsborough. Teams struggle to deal with how we play.
“It is down to the manager and players. We have some very good players.”
Hutchinson has expressed his joy over agreeing a new two-and-a-half-year contract, saying: “It’s good to get it sorted. We have been speaking for ages about it. I’m not one of those people who likes to say something until it happens.
“The only thought I had was to stay here because it makes sense. I have played the most games I ever played in my career here. I’m happy, my family are happy and I love Sheffield Wednesday.”