VIDEO: Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal salutes versatile Joao

Carlos Carvalhal, the Owls boss, praised the versatility of forward Lucas Joao following their come-from-behind victory over 10-man Blackburn Rovers.

Wednesday, 6th April 2016, 12:28 pm
Lucas Joao

Joao, who has bagged eight goals this season, was stationed on the left hand side of a three-pronged attack.

It was an unfamiliar role for the Portugal international but Carvalhal has outlined his reasons for selecting the 22-year-old in that position.

Lucas Joao

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Wednesday head coach told The Star: “It was a different position for Lucas. We put him on the left.

“We know that Ben Marshall plays on the right and attacks very well. We felt Lucas had the energy to block him.

“When a winger plays at full-back, they have problems to close the space inside between them and the central defender.

“We tried to play a player with pace to try and explore the space between Marshall and the central defender. We had two or three chances to put the ball in the box in the first half.

Lucas Joao

“Lucas had a good game like all the team.”

The Owls tightened their grip on a play-off spot after claiming a fourth successive Championship victory yesterday.

Rovers struck first through Craig Conway but Wednesday levelled things up through an an Adam Henley own goal. Conway was then sent off before Ross Wallace wrapped up maximum points, netting his fourth goal of the campaign.

The only disappointment for Carvalhal’s charges was that skipper Glenn Loovens had to be taken off after suffering an ankle injury.

Carvalhal said: “Glenn felt a big pain so he had to come off. I have not talked to him or the medical department yet so I don’t know exactly what the problem is.”

Sam Hutchinson (fever) was another notable absentee. It is the second successive match the utility player has missed.

When pressed on when Hutchinson will return to action, Carvalhal joked: “I don’t know. I don’t have a thermometer to see if he has a fever or not!

“Let’s see. Sam was ill with the fever. Now he doesn’t have it.

“When you have a fever for a few weeks, you are more weak. He lacks energy and is not 100 per cent. He needs time. I can’t say he will be available to play Saturday or after.”

Meanwhile, Jack Hunt has said sorry for his error which led to Blackburn’s opener. The attacking full-back was beaten in the air by Conway following a fine delivery by Darragh Lenihan.

Hunt posted on Twitter: “Good test for us tonight against a physical Blackburn team. We showed a different side to our game and was good to get the 3 points.

“For their goal, I hold my hands up. My mistake but these things happen in football. We recover and go again Saturday.”