By Danny Wright
Sheffield Wednesday ace Sam Hutchinson has talked up Leeds’s promotion chances ahead of Saturday’s Yorkshire derby.
But the Owls defender made the controversial claim that “no one likes Leeds” as he assessed the rivalry between the two Yorkshire clubs.
Hutchinson is keen for Wednesday to make a big statement in the promotion fight by beating Brentford on Tuesday night and climbing to fifth in the table.
There are currently three Yorkshire sides scrapping for position in the play-off places in the Championship, with Huddersfield being the other.
All three are at least seven points clear of seventh placed Norwich but a couple of slip-ups by the top two sides, Newcastle and Brighton, could soon see Leeds, as well as Huddersfield and Wednesday, fighting for an automatic promotion place.
“Leeds and Huddersfield are the surprise package that we were last season,” Hutchinson said to the Yorkshire Post . “You never know what you will get from both of them. But they have just carried on winning games and that puts pressure on us.
“If we can get these three points against Brentford, it will be all to play for on Saturday at Leeds.”
Victory over Brentford on Tuesday night would see Carvalhal’s men leapfrog Leeds in the table and set up a Saturday lunchtime derby at Elland Road that will be watched by a 30,000-plus crowd.
Hutchinson, who started his career at Chelsea, added to the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Of course the fans feel it that bit more. And no one likes Leeds, do they? Chelsea certainly didn’t. No one likes them, for some reason.
“No, seriously, it will be a great game. It is a derby (at Leeds) and that brings an extra bit of passion. “We are not speaking about it yet because Brentford is our focus, but it is a game to look forward to.”
Garry Monk’s side suffered a dip in form at the beginning of February when they lost their first Yorkshire derby of the month to the Terriers before succumbing to defeat at home to Cardiff.
The Whites are on the mend though now after picking up four points in their last two outings.
Hutchinson’s Wednesday are in great form and have won all of their last four games.
They welcome Brentford to Hillsborough on Tuesday night and a win could see them leapfrog Leeds.
Huddersfield take on the other team currently occupying the play-offs, Reading, in an important game that could see the winners strengthen their grip on third place and move closer to the top two.
In other Leeds news, this midfielder reveals why he was never going to turn down a move to Elland Road.