Sheffield Wednesday: Respect over rage as Carlos admits derby excitment

Carlos Carvalhal
Carlos Carvalhal
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Being completely honest with yourself, how many of you actually enjoy local derbies before the final whistle?

The desire to not lose to fierce rivals can bring unbearable tension if the scoreline remains close throughout.

One man who expects to enjoy today’s Yorkshire derby between Wednesday and Leeds United is Owls head coach Carlos Carvalhal.

A veteran of some of Europe’s most intense rivalries, Carvalhal believes the respect shown towards football in England will make for a more enjoyable derby experience.

“The fans connect with the derby,” the Portuguese said. “It is an emotional environment for the players but it’s a positive one.

“Believe me, when comparing it with a derby between Sporting and Benfica or Besiktas against Galatasaray or Fenerbahce, it’s completely different.

“Here I can enjoy the derby because the fans can be aggressive but in positive terms.

“The people support the teams.”

Carvalhal managed Sporting in Portugal and Besiktas in Turkey and the experience of derby matches lives long in the memory.

He said: “In Portugal and Turkey, it’s completely different. Very aggressive.

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“You travel with police protection. When you arrive at the stadium about 10,000 opposition fans are screaming and calling you bad names.

“Maybe stones will be thrown at the team bus.

“You go inside the stadium and you have 60-70,000 fans who make the atmosphere very nervous.

“The people don’t just go to focus on the game and support the teams.

“It’s more aggressive and that’s not good.

“Emotions are higher. If you are on the bus and feel stones thrown, you feel angry.

“If 5,000 people are calling you bad names, your emotions change.

“That is why I believe England is special, because I believe people respect the football more.

“There is rivalry but respect and you can enjoy the derbies.

“I didn’t enjoy the derbies when I was at Sporting or Besiktas because the environment is very aggressive and it’s not easy to deal with.”

Aside from matters in the stands this lunchtime, Carvalhal is expecting an open game against Leeds.

He said: “I have seen their team, they play positive football.

“I don’t know Steve [Evans] personally but I know how his team plays.

“It will be a tough game, absolutely.”

Carvalhal refused to provide an injury update on Sam Hutchinson, who could return for the Owls today.