Video: Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal says festive schedule is a ‘risk’ to all players

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Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal has hit out at the Championship New Year fixture schedule.

The Owls will play their second match in the space of three days when they entertain Wolverhampton Wanderers at Hillsborough today.

Carlos Carvalhal

Carlos Carvalhal

Carvalhal is a big fan of the festive period but believes the fixtures should be spread out more.

“To play two games in three days is a big risk to the players,” he told The Star. “They are over the red line and it means they have a bigger percentage of getting injured.

“The risk of pains is high, not just in our team, but all the teams in the world.

“It is not after the two games that the players pick up injuries. It is after one or two weeks.”

The Portuguese chief is expected to make changes today, with Jack Hunt, David Jones and Lucas Joao in the frame to start.

“It’s very difficult for me and all the coaches in the world,” said Carvalhal. “I think the players need a minimum of 72 hours (rest) between the games.”

It remains unclear whether Fernando Forestieri will be involved against Wolves. Carvalhal said the striker missed Saturday’s draw at Preston North End due to injury. His absence, coming 24 hours before the transfer window reopened, triggered fresh speculation that he may be leaving Hillsborough, but Carvalhal quickly rubbished that talk, stating: “It is an injury - 100 per cent. I can guarantee it.

“He had pain after the game against Newcastle and tried to recover but it was impossible.

“It was a little muscle problem.

“We wish to have a good answer in training and that he can recover for Monday. It is important he does.”

Carvalhal hopes Kieran Lee (hip) will be fit but is unsure whether Almen Abdi will be available for selection. The former Watford player suffered a fresh injury in training last Friday.

Carvalhal, who could hand a debut to new loan signing Callum McManaman, said: “We don’t know yet if Almen will recover for Monday or not. We will analyse and see how are soldiers are and who is dead and who is alive!”

For more news from Hillsborough click here