Sheffield Wednesday: Carlos Carvalhal explains the reason for the Owls’ style change

Carlos Carvalhal
Carlos Carvalhal

You won’t have read too many posts on Twitter from Carlos Carvalhal in 2017.

More than 43,000 people follow the genial Portuguese head coach but he made a conscious decision to step away from the social networking site earlier this year.

“I have not looked at Twitter in maybe the last two or three months,” said Carvalhal. “I decided I must protect myself.”

Not everything posted online is complimentary and Carvalhal remains keen on avoiding negative thoughts creeping into his head as he aims to lead Wednesday to a top-six finish.

He said: “Sometimes the critics don’t go to the games. Of course, these kind of things can affect me which is why I prefer to be out of social media.

“I prefer to receive the signals of the 5,000 fans who were at Barnsley. They trust in us and gave us a big support. These are my fans. This is my club. This is Sheffield Wednesday.”

Ross Wallace

Ross Wallace

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In recent weeks, supporters have bumped into Carvalhal in supermarkets and restaurants and the streets of Sheffield and voiced their concern over the team’s stuttering promotion charge. Wednesday slipped out of the play-off positions after Saturday’s draw at Barnsley and are near the bottom of the Championship’s form-table after collecting a meagre five points from their last seven matches.

But Carvalhal believes injuries to key players have contributed to their turgid, conservative football.

Midfield dynamo Sam Hutchinson (calf) will sit-out the trip to Rotherham United tonight and top-scorer Fernando Forestieri (knee) remains a major doubt.

Rival managers Owls Carlos Carvalhal with reds boss Paul Heckingbottom

Rival managers Owls Carlos Carvalhal with reds boss Paul Heckingbottom

Almen Abdi is expected to miss the rest of the season following knee surgery while Kieran Lee is still not ready to return.

Carvalhal has also pointed to the core of the 2016 Play-Off Final team having spells on the sidelines, including Tom Lees, Ross Wallace and Gary Hooper. Wallace and Hooper could be involved against the relegated Millers.

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When asked whether his players are feeling the pressure of a nail-biting promotion battle, Carvalhal replied: “I don’t think so.

Tom Lees

Tom Lees

“I think the players are giving their maximum. They are running, fighting and trying everything.

“I think they know we miss some links. We miss some things in the midfield and attack in the last 10 to 12 matches.

“We have played with a different face. We have had to be more practical, more solid to try and achieve points.

“I want to win and I want to be happy with the football because I have my philosophy. I want my face on the pitch. I hope when we recover the players we can be more near to the football that we like to play and I know that the Sheffield Wednesday fans like.”

Carvalhal is optimistic he will have more of his injured stars available for selection by the end of the week.

“People must understand a little our frustration,” he said. “The expectations are very high and we are trying to do our best.

“The problems with injuries and surgeries make the things more difficult to us.

“We have the feeling we will recover players between Tuesday and Saturday. It will be crucial to be very, very competitive at the end of the season and to try and achieve something. It is what we want. So the stress and pressure is all the time the same. I don’t have too much time to be stressed with other things. I am focused on my players.”

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