SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY manager Jos Luhukay admits to having been hugely encouraged by Sam Hutchinson’s “good physical shape” in pre-season.
The 28-year-old’s time at Hillsborough has seen stirring displays intermingled with spells on the sidelines, either through suspension or injury.
I know what I have with Sam. He can play as a central midfielder or as a central defender. He is a flexible player and will help us, I am sure.Owls boss, Jos Luhukay
He has just 93 starts in four and a half years, but Luhukay has been delighted with the former Chelsea man since the squad returned to training last month.
“I am very happy that Sam is in good physical shape,” said the club’s Dutch chief. “He has given 100 per cent in the last few weeks in training.
“I know what I have with Sam. He can play as a central midfielder or as a central defender. He is a flexible player and will help us, I am sure.”
Wednesday have had just one pre-season outing in public, last Friday’s 1-0 win at Lincoln City.
Hutchinson played for 45 minutes as Luhukay gave as many of his squad a run-out as possible. The next scheduled friendly is at Mansfield Town on July 24 and the Owls announced yesterday that all 1,624 tickets have been sold.
Before then, however, Luhukay’s men are in action against NAC Breda tomorrow in a behind-closed-doors friendly.
Hutchinson will again feature and Luhukay said: “He helps the team 100 per cent.
“The question will be physical. We want to bring him in a very good situation for the start of the new season.
“How he has worked and what I have seen him from him has been really good.”
Wednesday received a further fitness boost earlier this week when strikers Steven Fletcher and Gary Hooper, who have both been out since December through injury, came through a double session.