Sheffield Wednesday: Focused Owls bid to maintain winning run
Carlos Carvalhal's mantra has always remained the same throughout his time in charge of Sheffield Wednesday.
The Owls’ charismatic boss and his players continue to adopt a “game by game” mentality. There is no looking to the future. It is still about the here and now.
It is a principle which has served them well over the last year and a half.
And Wednesday head into the festive programme in high spirits following back-to-back Hillsborough victories over local rivals Barnsley and Rotherham United.
Carvalhal’s charges are in fine fettle, having won four out of their last five Championship outings, but left-back Daniel Pudil is refusing to get carried away.
The Czech Republic international said: “We are doing well but we have to keep going. There are so many games still ahead.
“We have to do our best and go game by game. That’s the most important thing. If you go game by game, you don’t have to think too much about the future.
“We will rest a little bit now, enjoy Christmas and focus on the next game which is Newcastle.”
It took a late penalty from Steven Fletcher for the Owls to overcome bottom-of-the-table Rotherham last weekend.
Pudil said: “It was quite a difficult game. Rotherham just came for a point and tried to slow the game down.
“They didn’t do anything. They were just dangerous from set pieces but I think we did well.
“We deserved to win but we should have scored more goals. We played well in the opening 15 to 20 minutes. We dominated and created a few chances but we should have scored the goal earlier and then the game would have been completely different.
“We got the three points and that’s the main thing.”
Victory lifted Wednesday, last year’s play-off finalists, up to sixth and the 31-year-old dedicated the derby success to the club’s supporters.
“I don’t think we had beaten Rotherham in quite a long time (at home),” said Pudil.
“The win was for our fans as they have been fantastic in the last two games. The win was for them.”
Next up for Carvalhal’s men is a Boxing Day trip to table-topping Newcastle United. The Magpies, managed by Rafa Benitez, will be full of confidence heading into the televised encounter following three consecutive league wins.
A gritty, hard-fought victory at relegation-threatened Burton Albion ensured Newcastle bagged the Christmas No 1 spot.
Pudil , who has made 15 starts, hitting one goal, stressed: “We won’t be under pressure.
“We will just go there to do our best, play our best football and we will see what happens after 90 minutes.
“We would definitely like to take some points over there and we will do our best.”