Championship Midfielder of the Season: Sam Hutchinson

Starring Hutch – bbc.co.uk

Any time one listens to Radio Sheffield, it sounds like Wednesday’s performances have not always matched their lofty position of sixth.

Last season we saw them create chances at will, playing fluid, one-touch football. This year, a combination of factors including injuries, fatigue and more cautious opposition – though the validity of such reasoning is debateable – mean they have not played the most eye-catching stuff.

And yet, they still have a realistic chance of winning promotion via the play-offs. For that, some credit must go to their more defensive performers. Glenn Loovens has looked steady at centre-back while right-back Jack Hunt has gradually improved.

Most fans however, would say their Player of the Season has been Sam Hutchinson. The holding midfielder is honest, passionate, hardworking and wears his heart on his sleeve. He is not always appreciated by opposing fans for his combative nature, which has seen him pick up nine yellow cards and two reds this term.

However, he is hugely valuable to the Owls, who have picked up 58 points from the 31 games he has started. That form over 38 would see them in a position similar to Huddersfield: virtually guaranteed of a top six finish and in with a sniff of the automatic promotion places. Instead, the team has accumulated just four points from seven in his absence, with a midfield that looks passive and lightweight.

The last match Hutchinson played was the 5-1 victory over Norwich City – that might not be the greatest coincidence.