The Royals are 14th in the Championship, a whopping 11 points off the play-off positions following a dip in their results.
Brian McDermott, who left Reading in March 2013 after just over three years in charge, returned to become their manager last month. They secured a morale-boosting victory over Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup in midweek, fighting back from two nil down to win 5-2 at the Madejski Stadium.
Carvalhal stressed: “It will be a tough game. They are in a false position. They are trying to fight for the top-six positions. These kind of things can happen in the Championship. They won in the cup, coming back from 2-0 down. They have good players who can make a difference.”
He reckons there is still more to come from his side despite their four-match winning run.
“Even in the last game, we played a good game but we can do even better,” said Carvalhal. “We have had a good period this week to work with the team. When we have this time to prepare the team, the answer is always good.”
Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood could be recalled if he recovers from a groin problem, but 11-goal top-scorer Fernando Forestieri remains a big injury worry. The striker left Hillsborough on crutches wearing a leg brace following the Owls’ home success against Leeds United.
“There are some players who are training and available but we will make our decisions after we have trained today,” insisted Carvalhal, who is still waiting to find out the full extent of Joe Wildsmith’s back injury. “We are much better than what we were one or two months ago.”