Sheffield Wednesday: Carlos Carvalhal ready to carry on making tough selection decisions

Carlos Carvalhal
Carlos Carvalhal

Carlos Carvalhal insists he will stand or fall by his own decisions in his quest to bring the good times back to Hillsborough.

The Portuguese chief, a big believer in squad rotation, opted to make three changes to his starting line-up in Tuesday’s triumph at Blackburn Rovers.

He controversially dropped Fernando Forestieri, who top-scored with 15 goals last time around, Ross Wallace and Jack Hunt.

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Carvalhal handed first-team starts to Liam Palmer, Will Buckley and David Jones and the trio made key contributions in the Owls’ first victory on the road since April 2.

Carvalhal told The Star: “I don’t mind what people think.

“When I was manager of Besiktas in Turkey, we played Braga in the Europa League and I playedRicardo Quaresma, who is a winger, as a striker.

“I knew at that moment that if I didn’t win the Braga game it would be very difficult for me. If Braga had won both legs, they (Besiktas) would probably have fired me.

“But I took the decision to play Quaresma as a striker and put Hugo Almeida, the striker of the Portugal national team, on the bench and we won the first leg 2-0.

“It was a very difficult decision but I made it.”

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Had Wednesday failed to pick up maximum points at Ewood Park, Carvalhal recognises some people would have questioned his team selection and the tactics he deployed.

“We moved some players, won the game and everything is perfect,” he said. “But I know if we hadn’t won I would have been asked ‘why did I pick [Will] Buckley and why didn’t I pick Fernando [Forestieri] or [Almen] Abdi’ but that is football.

“We know what we are doing and my staff are very professional. They analyse the opponents so we know exactly what we are doing when we take decisions.

“Sometimes you can win. Sometimes you can lose. Sometimes you can draw but I think the people know us better and they know when we do something we know what we are doing.

“I work with the players. I know the mood of the players and which players recover faster.

“Imagine if Barry Bannan hadn’t played against Blackburn because he had a small pain and we had put him on the bench.

“I must protect the players. It is better to play with guys who are more fresh than someone carrying an injury but because Barry’s pain wasn’t so high, we decided to play him.

“I am the manager so I must make decisions.”

It is likely Carvalhal will shuffle his pack at home against Brighton and Hove Albion tomorrow. Forestieri and Wallace are pushing for starts while Daniel Pudil may return if he recovers from a thigh injury,

“We try to give confidence to all the players we have,” he said. “We believe in all our players that they can help the team.”

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