Sheffield Wednesday: Owls gear up for mini-break

Modou Sougou
Modou Sougou

The international break can’t come quick enough for Carlos Carvalhal.

Although the Portuguese head coach has a plethora of options in virtually every department of his team, he is desperate to have a fully fit squad at his disposal.

In recent weeks, Sheffield Wednesday have been deprived of the services of Michael Turner, Modou Sougou, Alex Lopez and Marco Matias due to injury.

But Lopez has handed the Owls boost ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Charlton Athletic, having recovered from a thigh problem. Sougou and Matias have started running again but, like Turner, will play no part at the Valley as Wednesday prepare for their final fixture before a fortnight’s break.

“We need all the players,” said Carvalhal. “We don’t have a big squad; we have the correct squad.

“I never complain about players who are missing but the reality is we have missed four important players over the last few weeks and we are still doing well.

Carlos Carvalhal

Carlos Carvalhal

“The recovery of the players is very important to us and the break can help this and we can also correct a few things. I believe we can get better.

“The players deserve and need a rest some days to recover their energy and I’m sure we will be full of energy after the break.”

Carvalhal claims the break from the rigours of the Championship will give his injured stars and new arrival Gary Hooper a chance to get up to speed before the re-start.

With Matias and Sougou still sidelined, Carvalhal is acutely aware they are short of “pace and energy” in the wide positions. Ross Wallace is their only recognised winger.

“It will be busy over Christmas and that’s why I need a full squad and all the players ready,” added Carvalhal.

Despite Wednesday picking up 11 points out of possible 15 in October, Carvalhal missed out on being nominated for the Manager of the Month award.

Asked he if was surprised not to be included in the four-man shortlist, he said: “I don’t care. I want to be the coach of the day to my staff, players and supporters of Sheffield Wednesday. That’s what I want.

“I don’t agree with individual prizes in football because it’s a collective game. The prize in football should be for teams.”

Wednesday’s side are full of strong characters, according to Carvalhal.

He said: “To create a good team, you must have good personalities.

“When we choose a player (to sign), we check on their pesonalities to see whether they are team workers and care about the team.

“If they have good personalities then, after, we contact them. We rejected some players at the beginning over their personality. They had good ability but were not what we wanted.

“The players we have here have bought into what I’m trying to create.”

At yesterday’s press briefing, Carvalhal confirmed several clubs have expressed an interest in taking Sergiu Bus on loan. The Romanian striker has featured just three times as a substitute this season.

Carvalhal is reluctant to let Bus leave on a temporary basis as he rates the 23-year-old highly.

“Sergiu [Bus] is fully prepared and ready to play in England now,” he said. “Some clubs have started asking about him.

“He is a very good striker, a good talent and needs to play and is ready to score goals.

“Sergiu had a period of adaptation at the beginning. I like Sergiu too much and he deserves much more than I give to him at the moment.

“I recognise as a coach he deserves more (game time) because he has worked very hard and is a very good personality. He deserves more than what he’s had at this moment.

“He is a fantastic player and I don’t want to put him out of the squad.

“I’m not saying we want to loan him and we haven’t talked to him about it. I don’t know the wishes of the player. I’m talking publicly because clubs are starting to ask about him.

“If he decided to go on loan and a club contract him, they will have a very, very good striker who is ready for English football. It can be fantastic to him because he can score goals and we can follow him like we do with other players.”

Wednesday will head to London by train this afternoon and stay overnight in a hotel. They did the same thing when they played Brentford and Queens Park Rangers earlier in the campaign.

Carvalhal said: “It is nice to go by train. Personally, I prefer to go by train than by coach where there can be a lot of traffic.

“You can spend a long time on the coach throughout the season but on the train the players can chat and we can get to London in two hours.”

The pressure will be on the Owls to maintain their impressive form as managerless Charlton have gone 12 matches without a victory and are currently 23rd in the standings.

“We know they are not in a good position but when a team is not in a good position they are dangerous because they want to change things,” said Carvalhal.

“They (Charlton) have changed the coach in the last few weeks so will try their best.

“It’s a good challenge for them because we are unbeaten in 11 games so we must understand that. That’s why we must be alert and understand it won’t be an easy game.”

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