Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Adam Reach has praised teammate Gary Hooper, after his goal against Aston Villa at the weekend.
The centre-forward scored his first goal since returning from a 15-month injury lay-off, converting George Boyd’s cross to give the Owls a seventh-minute lead.
Villa would fight back to win the game 3-1 with two goals in injury-time after Steven Fletcher missed a second-half penalty in a dramatic finale at Hillsborough.
Despite the defeat, Reach was full of praise for his teammate and believes his contribution over the next few weeks could be key as the Owls look to finish the season in the Championship play-off places.
“He needed a chance like that, that’s Gary Hooper all over,” said Reach, as quoted by the Sheffield Star.
“He got 80-odd minutes and he’s improving all the time. When we can get him fully fit and putting in 90 minutes then we’ll be a very dangerous side,” added the midfielder.
“He’s been champing at the bit to get going. Fifteen months is a hell of a long time, especially for a striker, you miss scoring goals. It showed today he didn’t take long to get back into it.”
Reach has scored eight goals in 39 Championship appearances for Sheffield Wednesday this season, playing an important role in midfield.
Meanwhile, Hooper has scored 31 goals in 85 appearances for Wednesday since joining the club from Norwich City in 2015.
Wednesday are currently 12th in the Championship table, six points outside the top six and face fellow play-off hopefuls Nottingham Forest tomorrow night.
Hooper has been plagued with a number of injuries throughout his Sheffield Wednesday career and to return to the goals will give his confidence a huge boost.
His contribution to the team over the coming weeks could be key, as the Owls look to sneak into the play-off places.