Alan Biggs at Large: Carlos Carvalhal has every right to be relaxed

Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal
Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal
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Of course, it’s easy to say after a win. But there was something very genuine and relaxed about the way Carlos Carvalhal brushed offthe question of personal pressure after only his second league victory in charge.

As this column indicated last week, Sheffield Wednesday’s new owner is not the kind of man to lose his nerve too quickly – providing he sees signs of the progress and style he appointed Carvalhal to effect.

And last Saturday’s 3-2 eclipse of Fulham, which should have been more convincing, climaxed an upward curve.

The improvement was obvious and just needed underlining by a result. Beating Fulham was a big one just the same, including a haul of more than two goals in a home league game for the first time in 18 months. And, as the Portuguese head coach fully admits, there remain faults to address.

Inevitably, one of these remains the lack of a natural goal scorer that has seen Sunderland’s Danny Graham targeted.

Another, for me, is the need for a powerful box-to-box presence in midfield as Wednesday have a surfeit of smaller-framed midfielders who have quality on the ball and perhaps need more substance around them.

But Carvalhal is beginning to get his feet under the table, backed by a chairman who took flak for his choice of coach and is probably even more determined than the man himself to be proved right.

Having paid his respects to the family of the late, great Ron Springett last weekend, Carvalhal told me: “I dedicate the win to our chairman – because personally he believes all the time in the work going on here. He never puts any pressure (on me).

“He’s seen the games in Thailand, he likes the quality of the football and he has said to me it’s just a question of time to him (before results reflect that).

“So it’s an important message that this gives to our work. The players believe that also.”

I think that much is obvious, too, as is Carlos’s statement: “Everybody understands we are playing better than in the first games.”

Hopefully Fernando Forestieri’s hamstring tweak (these can take more than a game or two) will clear up quickly as he has provided a vital missing link, especially for service-providers like Ross Wallace.

But this lament from Carlos – “we’re missing goals sometimes and that is something we must correct” – is unlikely to be resolved from within.

And can Wednesday kick on without adding a stronger dynamic to a creative midfield?

Currently, they are vulnerable in an open game like last weekend’s.

Then again, it’s hard to argue against this summing up from the Wednesday head coach at the weekend: “We are in a good way.”