Carvalhal praises ‘fantastic’ Owls

Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal

Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal

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Carlos Carvalhal hailed the fighting spirit of his Sheffield Wednesday side as they recovered from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw with Sky Bet Championship promotion rivals Cardiff.

The hosts had looked to be on course for victory when a Craig Noone penalty and Anthony Pilkington’s strike put the Bluebirds in a dominant position at the break.

But the Owls rallied after the interval with Fernando Forestieri finding the net with a stunning strike from distance and Barry Bannan driving home the equaliser.

“In the second half we were excellent,” said the Portuguese. “We came on strong, we began to attack and we got the goals back.

“It was an exciting finish and there were chances for both sides to score and win the game, but I think in the end a draw was the correct score.

“We are not normally that open and when we do that we know we are taking risks but we know we can score goals.

“As they say in Portugal, we put all our meat on the fire in that second half. It was a fantastic effort, the fitness of the players is fantastic.

“But more important than this is the soul and the spirit we have. It is a good sign for us if we can do that against a big team in this division.”

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Cardiff boss Russell Slade was frustrated as his men threw away a two-goal advantage for the second straight home game to drop out of the top six.

Owls Fernando Forestieri shares a joke with Cardiff manager Russell Slade

Owls Fernando Forestieri shares a joke with Cardiff manager Russell Slade

“We had chances to kill the game off at the end of the first half and the start of the second half,” said Slade. “But we looked open at times and for their goals we have simply not done our jobs.

“It is a balancing act we need to get right. It is not about any one man, we have to do the basics as a team.

“If you don’t they prove costly. You have to get to the ball, close down, make a block and defend properly. It’s about discipline.

“We are also probably missing that bit of a ruthless edge in the final third and we can do better at the back. It is a balance we need to strike going forward and we need to do it regularly because I see the fight for promotion going down to the wire.”

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