Sheffield Wednesday: Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal out to learn from his mistakes
Carlos Carvalhal prides himself on being a student of the game.
“I’m not the kind of person who says they know everything,” insists the Wednesday boss.
“I will learn until the last second of my life.”
Eyebrows were raised when the little-known Portuguese boss arrived in English football last summer. He had a long CV and was relatively unknown on these shores.
Not only did Carvalhal and his backroom staff have to acclimatise to a new country, they also had to quickly adapt to the Championship.
The second-tier can be a grind and playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday tests the strength and depth of your squad. The schedule and intensity of the matches has prompted Carvalhal to describe the division as the “toughest in the world”.
“It (The Championship) is not a sprint,” he said. “It is a marathon.
“In the marathon, you must balance your energy as there are a lot of athletes that start in the first position and then after half of the marathon they come down and there are some of them who don’t start so well who have the energy to finish the race.
“It is not the way you start in the competition. It is the way that you finish.”
Wednesday got off to a slow start last season, recording just one win from their opening seven league fixtures. It was a baptism of fire for Carvalhal and his new-look squad.
Carvalhal, in some quarters, came in for criticism for constantly switching his personnel and formation in search of a winning formula.
But Carvalhal learned from his mistakes, ditching a 4-2-3-1 system in favour of 4-4-2 and the arrival of Daniel Pudil, Barry Bannan, Fernando Forestieri and Gary Hooper led to an upturn in their fortunes.
He admitted: “I have learned a lot about the culture and football.”
Carvalhal is not starting from scratch this summer. He already has the nucleus of a squad capable of challenging.
And after nearly a year in charge, Carvalhal now knows what to expect from the players, the teams and managers at this level. So expect there to be less tinkering and for Carvalhal to have learned from his mistakes.