Carvalhal issues Owls rallying cry

Carlos Carvalhal
Carlos Carvalhal
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Head coach Carlos Carvalhal has called on Wednesday’s fans to roar them to victory against Stoke City in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup.

The Owls have sold-out their ticket allocation for the trip to the Britannia Stadium and will be backed by more than 4,600 fans tonight.

It will be the second time Carvalhal has faced Stoke in their backyard in his managerial career. The Portuguese chief was in charge of Besiktas when they were paired with the Potters at the Europa League group stage back in 2011. The Turkish giants lost 2-1 despite going ahead through Roberto Hilbert.

Carvalhal said: “They (the fans) have a big part to play. I remember taking my Besiktas side to Stoke and they brought 3-4,000 fans.

“I remember the players at that moment when they went to warm up and they felt extra energy. People came a long way to follow and support us. We wanted to give something to them and did very well.

“It will be cold (on Tuesday night) and there will be rain probably. It’s not a good day to go to the football and if you have 4,000 fans there or whatever, I said to my players we must play to our fans.

“There will be 4,000 fans in the rain and cold and they pay for a ticket to see us play. This means we must play to them.

“It happened at Blackburn (on Saturday) and it will happen again. We must play to all the fans. We will give 300 per cent, give everything on the pitch and we will do that.”

“We will not go there to enjoy the game and see the stadium. We will go there to fight, play good football and try to win.”

Despite knocking out Newcastle United and Arsenal, Carvalhal claims Stoke remain the favourites to reach the last four.

“Stoke have the most percentage to win and if I said the opposite then nobody would believe me,” he said. “If I said we were the favourites, then everyone will say ‘this guy is crazy’! I’m not crazy. I am realistic and keep my feet on the floor. I know they are better than us and have better players.

“They have a strong defence, are well organised and have good wingers and attackers with different abilities. They have a good second strikers in Bojan or Ibrahim Afellay. Their two midfielders are very good and control the rhythm of the game. Their full-backs like to go attack and disturb the opponents.

“They are a Premier League side and play at home. They have a good coach and beaten some good teams in the last few weeks.

“They are a home but that doesn’t mean we won’t fight.”

Joe Wildsmith will replace Keiren Westwood in goal while striker Fernando Forestieri is ineligible,

Midfielders Barry Bannan and Filipe Melo, defender Michael Turner (all knee), forwards Sergiu Bus and Marco Matias (hernia), plus defender Vincent Sasso are all ruled out.

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