Sheffield Wednesday: Teams respect us, so now they’re harder to beat, says Carlos Carvalhal

Carlos Carvalhal on the touchline at the Riverside
Carlos Carvalhal on the touchline at the Riverside
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Carlos Carvalhal claims the Owls are still struggling to come to terms with teams showing them more respect this season.

Carvalhal made the admission after Wednesday crashed out of the FA Cup, losing 3-0 at Premier League Middlesbrough yesterday.

Ten-man Boro booked their place in the fourth round of the competition following second half strikes by captain Grant Leadbitter, Alvaro Negredo and Marten de Roon.

Wednesday found it tough to create chances against a Middlesbrough side who had centre-back Daniel Ayala sent off just before hour mark.

The Owls, last season’s Championship Play-Off finalists, have fired blanks in each of their last two matches and head coach Carvalhal is convinced opponents are now lining up differently against his side.

“They (teams) are more compact and solid,” he said. “They try to block our dynamic first and after they try to achieve goals.

“It is our job to try and achieve the best way to opening other defences but the reality is teams are playing against us with big respect.

“Middlesbrough played with Calum Chambers at right back and two centre halfs and they played like they did against Manchester United. They played with a big respect for us and tried to be solid so it is our responsibility to create chances.

“We are trying (to create a little more). The goalkeeper after the second goal made three or four saves. We are trying to score goals.”

Keiren Westwood and Sam Hutchinson were not involved at the Riverside Stadium, with Carvalhal taking the opportunity to rest the influential duo.

“I played the best team to win the game,” stressed Carvalhal. “We decided not to take any risks.

“We played against a team who are very organised, are in the Premier League and don’t give too many chances away.

“When they lose the ball, they are so solid.”

He blamed defensive lapses in concentration for their first loss in six matches.

Carvalhal, who confirmed midfielder Almen Abdi missed out due to injury, said: “The game was very balanced. It made a big difference the mistakes, of course, but I will not complain about mistakes from my players because it is part of football.”