Video: Sheffield Wednesday better equipped now to beat Brighton, says Carlos Carvalhal
Sheffield Wednesday Carlos Carvalhal says there are no favourites going into next week's Championship play-offs and that his side are better now than they were when they played opponents Brighton earlier this season.
Carvalhal fielded a much-changed side against Wolves, going down 2-1 at Molineux, but inevitably the talk afterwards was the upcoming game against the Seagulls at Hillsborough on Friday.
Brighton could only draw at Middlesbrough which saw the home side take the second automatic promotion place and Carvalhal is expecting a tough game, as he would against each of the other three teams in the play-offs.
"Brighton will be a strong opponent, like all of the teams in the play-offs, but each of the four teams has a 25 per cent chance," said Carvalhal, whose side twice drew 0-0 with Chris Hughton's men this season.
"We have drawn against them both times this season in balanced games and we understand we are playing a top team but I think we are a better team now than in the past.
"We have a positive environment. We will be underdogs but that can be a positive for us. We finished the season very healthy, very fresh, very strong mentally and physically because we managed the squad well over the season.
"Our team will be ready. It is a challenge and an opportunity and we have a strong attitude."
Against Wolves, the Owls showed ten changes to the team which confirmed their play-off place last week against Cardiff City, with Lucas Joao the only survivor. They went behind to a Michael Turner own goal and George Saville rifled in the second for the home side.
Lewis McGugan pulled one back from the penalty spot and there was a late rally from Wednesday, but they couldn't get an equaliser.
"There are a lot of positives from the afternoon," added Carvalhal. "The negative is the score of course and the way that we played for the first 20 to 30 minutes.
"Some of the players have not played 90 minutes for a long time and the co-ordination in the beginning was not perfect and Wolves scored two goals.
"But the second half it was very strong from my team, the way we reacted and tried to win the game. We scored and finished the game very positively.
"We are finishing the game more fresh than our opponents, physically and emotionally, even with players who are not used to playing 90 minutes.
"We needed to give these players an opportunity because now they will be more ready, having played 90 minutes today, if we need them in the play-offs."