Sheffield Wednesday: Stability the key in Owls promotion push

Atdhe Nuhiu
Atdhe Nuhiu

Head coach Carlos Carvalhal claims stability is crucial to the Owls’ Premier League ambitions after tying down two members of his first-team squad to long-term contracts.

Following lengthy discussions with Wednesday’s hierarchy, midfield maestro Barry Bannan and giant striker Atdhe Nuhiu penned new deals yesterday.

Bannan, who initially signed a 12-month contract after leaving Crystal Palace last summer, has penned a three-and-a-half-year deal while four-goal forward Nuhiu has committed his future until 2018.

Skipper Glenn Loovens and Sam Hutchinson are also set to shortly sign two-and-a-half-year contracts as Carvalhal continues to rebuild.

Carvalhal, who has confirmed strikers Gary Hooper and Fernando Forestieri are big injury concerns ahead of tomorrow’s encounter with Leeds United, said: “Since I arrived we never do a short-term loan even when we have a problem in some sectors of the team.

“When I talk about we don’t need to do a revolution in January, it means I like stability.

“I think the stability is very important. I believe in relationships, the emotional environment that the players have. The players hug each other when they score a goal, when they lose a game they cry with each other.

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“Crying? That’s true, it’s normal in football, nobody likes to lose. But we don’t have reasons to cry a lot, we have more reasons to smile and be happy.

“This emotional part is very important to build a team. You just can’t do this if the players aren’t together, and players are going back after (a few) weeks.”

The Portugueuse chief described it as “strange” that Bannan is no longer plying his trade in the top-flight.

“We are very happy to be with him because he has abilities to play at another level,” added Carvalhal.

Meanwhile, Bolton Wanderers midfielder Mark Davies’ proposed move to Hillsborough looks to have fallen through - with his agent citing “medical reasons” for the transfer breaking down.

It is believed the Owls agreed personal terms with Davies and that a disagreement on his severance package at Bolton had been resolved. Davies watched on from the stands as Wednesday beat Bolton in midweek.

But The Star understands the Owls have had a change of heart over signing Davies, leaving the door open ajar for Fulham to recruit him on a free transfer.

Will Salthouse, Davies’ agent, said: “Sheffield Wednesday have said medical reasons but the player has not had a medical with them and they have not had any of his medical records.”

Bolton have contacted the Football League to voice their displeasure over Wednesday’s handling of the transfer, although they have yet to lodge a formal complaint.