Sheffield Wednesday midfielder-turned-defender Sam Hitchinson proved influential for the Owls on Saturday afternoon as Darren Moore’s side edged closer to ensuring their Championship survival.
Knowing that a result against Nottingham Forest was crucial to giving Wednesday any hope of avoiding the drop on the final day of the season, the Owls defence emerged as the heroes of the afternoon at Hillsborough, helping their side to secure a goalless draw against Forest that, along with Derby County’s defeat at Swansea City, has given Moore’s side a very real chance of survival.
Now, Wednesday will be hoping that their relegation rivals Rotherham United do not pick up any points in their game in hand on Tuesday evening, before heading into what looks likely to be a straight relegation shootout against Wayne Rooney’s Derby side next weekend.
In the fixture against Forest itself, Hutchinson stood out as the Owls’ star man, with the 31-year-old earning a SofaScore match rating of 7.5 for his efforts against Chris Hughton’s side, ranking him as the club’s best player on the day.
The £18,000-per-week ace, who is naturally a central midfielder and is only filling in at the back because of injuries, put in an extremely commanding performance in the fixture, making four clearances, three interceptions and one tackle.
In addition to these impressive metrics, the former Chelsea youth player also blocked two shots, won three of his five duels – a 60% success rate – and completed an impressive 37 of his 45 attempted passes.
As such, it would not appear to be an outlandish claim to suggest that Hutchinson is almost single-handedly responsible for keeping Wednesday’s hopes of remaining a Championship side alive heading into the Derby clash, and Moore will undoubtedly be hoping for another dominating display from the midfielder-turned-defender when his side travel to Pride Park on Saturday.