Sheffield Wednesday: Carvalhal bids to give Owls security

Owls head coach Carlos Carvalhal
Owls head coach Carlos Carvalhal
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Wednesdayites can sleep safe in the knowledge that boss Carlos Carvalhal and his backroom staff always look to get an edge over the opposition.

Preparation and attention to detail is everything to Carvalhal. As one of the sport’s deep thinkers, the meticulous Portuguese likes to pinpoint areas where they can hurt teams.

Carvalhal’s coaching staff work tirelessly at their Middlewood Road training ground on compiling data and studying in depth the rest of the Championship.

“First of all, you must know yourself very well and understand your strong points,” Carvalhal told The Star. “But when you go to fight, you must know the opponents. If you know all the details of the opponents, you can use all the tricks to win the game so that’s why we try to discover everything we can about who we are playing.

“When we go on to the pitch, we do a lot of work to help give our players more security.

“We must try to control what we can and give information to the players and guess how the opponents will play.”

Speaking at his press briefing yesterday, Carvalhal confirmed he had already watched three Brighton matches. Depending on time constraints, the former Sporting Lisbon and Besiktas chief said, ideally, he planned on seeing a couple more of their fixtures before putting the finishing touches to the Owls’ game plan.

“All my English and Portuguese assistants watch the games,” said Carvalhal.

“Joe Simmonds (technical analyst) collects all the information about the opponents and the way they play.

“Before they give me the last bit of information, I like to sit on my own to check if what I saw was the same as the analysis. Sometimes I will see things a little different and we then have to adapt the strategy.

“You must look at a lot of games to try and understand the coach and understand the philosophy of the opponents, their weak and strong points.”

After Saturday’s trip to struggling Charlton Athletic, Wednesday will be without a fixture for a fortnight due to the international break.

“I feel very tired as do the players,” he conceded. “The break will come after the Charlton game and be very welcome to my assistants and I. It will be very important to recover my energy.

“It has been a very hard period but I’m not complaining about anything. It is my life, it is my work and I’m enjoying what I am doing.

“I am a little tired but ready to play and so are my assistants and players. There will be no excuses. We will be strong in the game and have full power. We have motivation because we are playing the leaders. The reality is they are the strongest team in the division.”

Carvalhal, who plans to have a sit down chat with chairman Dejphon Chansiri next week, is adamant Wednesday are “outsiders” for promotion, even if they end Brighton’s unbeaten run tonight.

“I will not change my way even if we beat Brighton,” he said. “We are not in sixth position. We are eighth. At this moment, there are seven teams better than us. We are in a very good way and not losing many games but this competition is very hard.

“There are a lot of teams who have more possibilities than us. I have seen offers in our competition of £14m for a striker and we are not in this plan and must keep our feet on the ground.”

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