Sheffield Wednesday: Owls boss Carvalhal lays off wasteful Joao

Lucas Joao misses a great second-half chance
Lucas Joao misses a great second-half chance
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Boss Carlos Carvalhal refused to blame Lucas Joao despite the striker’s costly miss in the Owls’ away defeat to high-flying Reading.

With the score locked at 0-0, the Portugal international broke clear of the Royals defence in the 51st minute but fired wide from 15 yards.

Joao’s spurned chance came back to haunt Carvalhal’s team as Roy Beerens grabbed a brace to inspire a 2-1 Reading win.

“I never put the responsbility of a game on one player,” Carvalhal told The Star. “We are a team. We win and lose together.”

Wednesday wasted a number of other opportunities to break the deadlock and Carvalhal is acutely aware they must improve their finishing to push on.

“It is important when you are controlling a game that you score,” he acknowledged.

“If we had scored first, everything would have been completely different. They would have had to take more risks and open spaces.

“With the ball, we created chances. But with the chances that we had, we should have taken them.

“They had more of the ball but we had more of the threat.

“Reading scored without having a real chance before and that was the difference. I don’t remember Keiren Westwood having much to do for most of the game but that is football.

“My players gave everything until the last second. I’m happy with my players but not the final score.

“We didn’t give up and the fans were brilliant again.”

Carvalhal, who questioned the referee’s decision to award a free-kick to Reading in the build-up to their opener, made one change to his starting line-up, handing Atdhe Nuhiu his first league start of the season. The Portuguese chief praised the centre forward’s contribution.

Carvalhal said: “He did well. He played well on Tuesday against Notts County in a behind-closed-doors game and scored three goals.

“He had a good influence on the game.”

There was one big plus for Wednesday as academy graduate George Hirst made his league debut as a second-half sub. The teenager earned his place in the matchday squad following his stellar goal-scoring exploits at youth level for club and country.

“George did well when he came on,” said Carvalhal.

“He tried to make an impact with his colleagues when he got on the pitch.

“It wasn’t an easy game for him to come into, but he did well.”

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