Chris Holt’s Sheffield Wednesday Column: Why Carlos Carvalhal won’t let win over Newcastle United be THE highlight of the season

A delighted Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal after the win over Newcastle, but it was soon straight back to business
A delighted Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal after the win over Newcastle, but it was soon straight back to business
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It can be a little frustrating sometimes, as a journalist hoping for a huge burst of unadulterated ecstasy, thus providing great copy, that Carlos Carvalhal maintains a sense of laid-back, southern European indiferença.

However, it is also to his eternal credit that the Portuguese prefers to keep this unruffled persona.

When asked yesterday in his weekly press briefing ahead of the trip to Preston, how he would assess the season so far, Carvalhal replied, “moderate satisfaction, not euphoric.”

It was an answer typical of the Wednesday head coach even though, coming as it did just a few days after a tactical masterclass which saw the Owls beat league leaders Newcastle United and left Champions League winner Rafa Benitez flummoxed, he would have been forgiven for basking in the glory, in the way Wednesdayites have done.

While this has been his manner ever since arriving at Hillsborough a year-and-a-half ago, that sense of calm perspective was needed all the more this week.

For if Wednesday don’t achieve what they set out to do this season, that is, qualify for the play-offs at the very least, then victory at St James’ Park will provide nothing more than a positive footnote in a season of disappointment.

You can guarantee that as soon as the players arrived back in Sheffield following that impressive win, it will have been drummed into them - it’s over, move on.

If we are all honest, Wednesday have been pretty average in this campaign so far.

We haven’t seen the dynamism that defined last year’s march to Wembley, but here they are, in the top six, which is ultimately where they aspire to be.

Crucially though, it appeared on Monday that things had finally clicked. The team were excellent going forward, strong AND creative in midfield and supremely solid at the back.

This wasn’t just a team rising to the occasion in front of a big crowd, like a lower league team would when causing a cup shock.

There was something about the way they performed. Like the short bursts of impressive play that have punctuated the somewhat stumbling season so far had all come together in one game, proving just what they are capable of.

We as journalists can say that, just as fans can revel in the glory of a big win against a team put together on a budget that would wipe out the debt of a small country.

However for the players and the coaching staff the most important thing is ensuring that the trip to the north east doesn’t become the only part of the campaign that can be looked back on with fondness.

Carvalhal won’t have let them get carried away and it is that demeanour which can see them potentially turn 2017 into something truly special.