Sheffield Wednesday: Carvalhal’s great entertainers

Carlos Carvalhal's first press conference as Sheffield Wednesday head coach at Hillsborough.
Carlos Carvalhal's first press conference as Sheffield Wednesday head coach at Hillsborough.

Head coach Carlos Carvalhal hopes to be given time to prove he is the right man for the job, telling fans he will send out a side capable of winning with style.

Eyebrows were raised following the Owls’ decision to name Carvalhal as Stuart Gray’s successor last month.

The Portuguese has led clubs in his homeland, Greece and Turkey, with his CV reading 14 clubs in a 14-year spell, although he has never managed in England.

Nonetheless, Carvalhal has vowed to win over his critics by playing an entertaining, expansive style of football.

He told The Star: “We will see (if I am given time). What we will do and how we can do, our steps and the quality of our football - all will be important.

“We must win, that is important. If we win, we create confidence and with confidence people support more.

“We’re feeling the enthusiasm of the massive (fans). We want to push them because if you push them with good football they will push us to win. This is something we must create.

“We have to win the confidence and we wish to go to the Premier League.

“I am not here to step on to anywhere else. I am here at Sheffield Wednesday, the place I wish to be. I am not here to try and jump to anywhere else.

“I want to go to the Premier League with Sheffield Wednesday. That is my wish. I think of nothing else.”

Carvalhal said he learned the importance of getting fans to buy into his methods while at Besiktas.

“The Championship is different to what I have had before,” he acknowledged. “I have been to 14 clubs in 14 years, where the environment in a place like Turkey is demanding.

“Loew and Del Bosque are champions of the world with Germany and Spain. But I believe they only stayed six or seven months (in Turkey) with their clubs.

“It is a different reality to anywhere else. If you lose two matches, the third match has a 95 per cent chance of firing you.

“You wouldn’t believe the environment I worked in at Besiktas. I substitute a coach who went to jail over a scandal over a final of the Cup. My staff was the staff of the coach who go to jail.

“I start working like that and after the coach got out of jail in November or December, he want to come back. I said, of course, it is your place. But the fans, because we were doing fantastic, didn’t accept this so I stay at the club with the staff from the coach who is now a technical director.

“I worked in this environment and we did very good. In Europa League, we won in the group stage for the first time. Afterwards, we beat Braga also who won the “Europa the year before. We go out to Atletico Madrid, who won the Europa League that season.

“We put the team in the play-offs at the end, too. In those conditions, it is why the Besiktas fans were patient with me and know how I survived in that kind of jungle for a long time.

“I had a good connection with the fans. Like the ‘massive’ here, that support was important to me. It is why I want the ‘massive’ to be on our side here.

“I want to create expectation and create a fantastic atmosphere at Hillsborough.”

Chairman Dejphon Chansiri declined to divulge the length of Carvalhal’s contract at yesterday’s press conference. However, the Thai businessman confirmed Carvalhal will have some input in transfer dealings as the latest member of his sporting director committee.

But, ultimately, Chansiri said he will have the final say on new players.

Wednesday bolstered their goalkeeping department by capturing Welsh international Lewis Price on a free transfer last night. The 30-year-old arrives at Hillsborough after leaving Premier League side Crystal Palace at the end of last season, penning a one-year deal.

The Owls, who are believed to have spent £1.44m on Nacional winger Marco Matias, have also agreed a deal to sign midfielder Alex Lopez on a season-long loan deal from Celta Vigo, subject to the Spaniard passing a medical.

The 27-year-old played 25 times in La Liga last season, helping them to an eighth-placed finish.

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