Video: Carlos Carvalhal came with something to say - Watch his explanation as to why Sheffield Wednesday are currently struggling

On a few occasions since taking charge of Sheffield Wednesday, Carlos Carvalhal has arrived at his pre-match press conferences armed with some sort of document to back up his reasoning, particularly when times are tough.

Thursday, 14th December 2017, 2:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th December 2017, 5:10 pm
A studious Carlos Carvalhal ahead of his pre-match press conference

Today was one of those days.

The Owls head coach rocked up ahead of Friday's with a few sheets of paper showing a graph of their league positions over the course of the time in which Carvalhal has been at the helm.

A studious Carlos Carvalhal ahead of his pre-match press conference

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Without a question being asked, he launched into the defence of his stewardship so far and offered an explanation as to why Wednesday are currently in 15th position in the table and 10 points adrift of the play-offs. Tomorrow night's opponents - league leaders Wolves - are 21 points ahead.

Carvalhal began by explaining how they arrived at the club when expectations were low and achieved a Play-Off final place in the first season, as underdogs, in the way Huddersfield were last year and Bristol City are this time around.

From then it moved onto the second season, off the back of higher expectations and he pointed to a difficult period during February and March in which Wednesday won one game in seven - that one being a 5-1 hammering of Norwich City. "Something happened in that moment," said Carvalhal before going on to point out that Gary Hooper, Kieran Lee, Almen Abdi, Steven Fletcher, Sam Hutchinson, Fernando Forestieri, Tom Lees and Barry Bannan were suffering from injuries at the time.

Their recovery, he said, brought about a rise in form with a six game winning run securing a play-off spot and eventually fourth place in the table, closing the gap in the points difference from the two teams at the top compared to the previous campaign.

A studious Carlos Carvalhal ahead of his pre-match press conference

Carvalhal said he then took a risk to stay for this season, 'because we believe in our work'. He says he knew there wasn't too much money to bring in new players so he had to improve the those already there and try to achieve a better position than last season.

However, coming to the crux of his reasoning, the Portuguese said 'for this to happen, things much be normal'. By that, unsurprisingly, he brought up the injury problems that have plagued the team this season.

"The players must be fit and competing for a place in the team," he said. "Important players must be fit, everybody fit and ready, with internal competition very high and have a team with high intensity to the level of the first and second year. The reality is a little different.

"I tried to collect the pieces because I think it is better to do that. The facts are - we are two steps down from what we expect. One of the steps, in reality bad decisions make us lose in the minimum 10 points that can put us in a different situation.

"Added to this, we are playing with important players out of the team at this moment. Players that we don't really have a substitute for their abilities. Not one or two - we are talking about a lot of players. Jack Hunt, Tom Lees, George Boyd, Sam Hutchinson, Kieran Lee, Fernando Forestieri, Steven Fletcher. Seven important players that can make us with more internal competition. Some of them are the basis of team for the last year and a half and when four or five they are not there, change the face of the team."

He added: "This made us stay in the position that we have so far. You can discuss the fault of the coach, if it's injuries, I live in the reality. This is my explaining for the position we are in at the moment."

In conclusion, the lengthy, unprompted justification centred around a long injury list containing key players, the VERY well-documented decisions Carvalhal feels went against his side and a comparison between now and a similar period almost a year ago when the loss of influential players resulted in a drop in form, which then rose when some of those returned.

It would appear from that, that a rise up the table is hinging on the recovery of the likes of George Boyd, Sam Hutchinson and Fernando Forestieri - all of whom are expected in the early part of the New Year.

The fear is, if Wednesday continue to drop points between now and then, that will probably be too late.