Sheffield Wednesday have the opportunity on Saturday to show they can get the job done against the Championship’s struggling outfits.
The Owls head to rock bottom Bolton Wanderers having failed so far this season to beat the three other sides currently occupying the division’s bottom four.
It is a record that does not make for the best reading but Carlos Carvalhal insists history shows there are no guarantees for top teams facing strugglers in the division.
And he says the Championship is unlike any other league when it comes to predictability.
“It is not easy,” Carvalhal said.
“If I build a team in Portugal I know exactly that the standard of another team will be similar.
“If I did this in Turkey, in Greece in the past, it is the same.
“If you play in the Premier League, 85 per cent of the teams have the same standard.
“In the Championship, no. In the Championship the standard is completely different.
“One team will play one style, another team will play a completely different style and another one a completely different style.
“You must find a way to play with a philosophy, but to win against different opponents that play completely different, with a different philosophy.
“This is very hard.”
Illustrating his point, Carvalhal gave the example of a two game sequence from last season which saw Wednesday beat high-flying Newcastle United and struggling Rotherham United.
The Owls were excellent in claiming a 1-0 triumph at St James’ Park but toiled at home to the Millers and needed an injury time penalty to see them off.
He said: “You must be alert against all the teams. You must use different arguments to play against all the teams.
“This competition is very special in that it is like this.
“You must play against a team like Newcastle at a high level. Your strategy must be more careful about tactical things, little problems.
“Then after a few days you have a team like Rotherham that are completely different.
“With the same players you must win, with completely different arguments against another team.
“It is what makes this competition special.
“It is why some teams in good positions lose points against teams that are down.”
Wednesday face a similar challenge in a two game spell that concludes at the Macron Stadium on Saturday.
Having won comfortably against early pace-setters Leeds United before the international break, they visit a Bolton side that have lost their last eight matches without scoring a single goal.
Carvalhal said: “These two teams have different arguments.
“Leeds have more quality. Bolton work more hard than Leeds.
“We respect Bolton a lot. It is very important to us and the game that we respect them a lot.
“They can create problems and we must be ready for the problems.
“But they know too that we can create a lot of problems to them.
“Let us see.”
During Carvalhal’s first season in charge, Wednesday had a similarly poor record against the lower ranked sides as they do now.
But they improved last term, winning all eight games against the sides which would ultimately comprise the Championship’s bottom four.
He insists his squad is still learning but is confident they are well suited to picking up wins against the strugglers.
“Last season we learned about how we must do,” he said.
“We upgraded the team to play against teams from the bottom.
“The players are almost the same and the philosophy is almost the same so I believe we are more ready than the first season to play the teams from the bottom.
“We try to upgrade the team, we try to put the team to play good football, entertain the fans, be positive football in all the games.
“At the same time we must be ready to do the things to deal with problems the opponents create.
“If you have to be efficient to win points in games, you must do that in this competition.”