Date: 20th September 2006 at 11:34pm
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Owls boss Paul Sturrock has urged Wednesday fans to get behind ‘boo boy’ Chris Brunt for this weekend’s crunch clash with Derby County at Hillsborough, after the youngster came in for criticism from a section on fans in recent matches.

Wednesday haven’t got off to the best of starts on the Championship this season, and the Owls gaffer has wanred things won’t get any better if the Hillsborough crowd focus their frustrations on the former Middlesbrough youth product.

He told the official SWFC site: ‘Way back I made a tongue-in-cheek comment about Chris which has put him under the microscope much more than I would have liked. When I associated him with being lazy I was talking about his style but as usual it came out differently in some national newspapers.

‘There has been a boo-boy mentality towards him. In the circumstances we’re in, I’d ask everyone to get behind the team.’

The Nothern Ireland international was a key part of the Owls side that won promotion via the League One play-offs and then secured their survival in the Championship with some breathtaking goals – most notably against Coventry City and Leicester City. Without those goals, the Owls could have been finding themselves up against Carlisle United and Rotherham rather than Sunderland and Birmingham City.

But his relaxed attitute on the pitch has caused some fans to call for Brunt to be dropped from the side – with Sturrock duly obliging in recent matches by opting for Burton O’Brien on the left and Lloyd Sam on the right.

Former Owls manager Chris Turner brought Brunt to Hillsborough in March 2004 after coming through the Middlesbrough youth academy. The winger has made a total of 79 appearances for the club since his arrival, notching up 13 goals along the way.

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