Sheffield Wednesday: Show no fear, urges Owls boss

Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal
Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal
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Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal is urging his players to show no fear in their televised Yorkshire derby encounter with Leeds United this afternoon.

The Owls, who have been linked again with a loan move for Norwich City striker Gary Hooper, go to Elland Road today, kick-off 12:30pm, chasing their first away win since March 21.

Carvalhal told The Star: “I like derbies. It is for these moments why I am in football.

“I was involved in derbies with Besiktas and, when we played Galatasaray or Fenerbahçe, there would be 60-80,000 people in the stadiums. All the people are crazy around the game.

“They are emotional games and I’m sure the players will like this game. We must put our energy on the pitch, not fear anything, be confident and enjoy the game.”

Although Wednesday signed multiple foreign players over the summer, Portuguese chief Carvalhal is confident his new-look team will handle the occasion.

“All the players know what it means,” he stressed. “Alex [Lopez] play a lot of Celta Vigo-Coruna so knows exactly what a derby means in Galicia.

“Marco Matias and Lucas Joao played in the Nacional v Maritimo games. That is a derby as well with a big atmosphere. The players have lived these derbies before and know they are an emotional environment.

“Lucas is starting playing, almost now. But more than the foreign players, we have a lot of British players. The main part of the group are British and have played here a long time.

“They have a lot of experience. If we did not have this, I may be worried. But the main part of the squad is players with big experience of derbies.”

Carvalhal has warned his side to keep their discipline as they seek to halt a two-match winless run.

“There are no favourites in these kind of games,” he said. “Anything can happen.

“These games are question of attitude and fight. The little things normally make a big difference.

“The players have experienced games like this in the past so will be ready. They know exactly what they must do in this kind of environment. The main group is British so understand.”

Wednesday have fitness concerns over skipper Glenn Loovens (ankle), Atdhe Nuhiu (neck) and Lucas Joao (leg) while Keiren Westwood is sidelined, meaning Lewis Price will continue to deputise in between the sticks.

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