Sheffield Wednesday: Owls players granted time off with their families on Christmas Day

For the second year on the spin, Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal has given his players Christmas Day off.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 24th December 2016, 5:03 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 2:19 pm
Carlos Carvalhal
Carlos Carvalhal

But the Portuguese chief has ordered his squad not to over-indulge tomorrow.

The Owls face automatic promotion contenders Newcastle United on Boxing Day chasing a third successive victory.

Carvalhal told The Star: “We are doing exactly the same as last year (for Christmas).

“It is an important day for the players and their families. We give 100 per cent freedom which means the responsibility is on the players.”

The Wednesday head coach is confident his players will be sensible over the holiday season.

“If you remember last season, we beat Birmingham 3-0 and we performed very well,” he added.

Carvalhal’s men will travel to Newcastle on Boxing Day morning in preparation for their televised encounter.

The former Besiktas and Sporting Lisbon chief is sweating over the fitness of “five to six” key players, including Barry Bannan (foot), Kieran Lee (hip) and Almen Abdi (shoulder). Abdi took part in a light training session on Thursday but Carvalhal is giving little away about team selection.

“We hope we can recover most, if not all of them, for Monday but at this moment we are not sure,” he said. “I don’t want to give information to our opponents.”

Fernando Forestieri is in contention for a first-team return after completing a three-match ban.

Carvalhal said: “I am happy when all the players are back and available to play. I am happy because we have more options to decide and it’s a positive headache to us.

“A concern is when we don’t have players and that is red alert. Even though we have doubts on some players, we are no more than on yellow alert. But all the time we go to the pitch to fight for the three points for sure.”