Adam Reach is confident that Sheffield Wednesday’s players will be able to block out the potential distractions that will come from Carlos Carvalhal’s return to Hillsborough tomorrow.
The former Owls boss brings his Swansea City side to S6 for a surprisingly quick comeback in the FA Cup fifth round, less than two months since his Wednesday departure.
The match will be televised live and much of the attention will be on the charismatic Portuguese who has quickly become a popular figure in South Wales, for all the same reasons he was in Sheffield.
The comedic analogies heard regularly in these parts have been taken to a larger stage but more importantly, results on the pitch have meant that Carvalhal has eased into life in the Premier League.
Swansea have already beaten Liverpool and Arsenal under Carvalhal’s watch and they arrive at Hillsborough for this tie having fired eight past Notts County in their fourth round replay at the Liberty Stadium. However, all of that is of no significance to Reach, who has his eye on a trip to Wembley.
“There’s going to be a lot of attention with Carlos, with it being on TV and knowing what Carlos is like, he’ll enjoy it and lap it up a little bit,” he said.
“We are concentrating on the match, all we see is a chance to get to the quarter finals of the FA Cup.
“Just because it is Carlos coming back, that adds a little extra spice for the fans and the occasion itself but as players we want to challenge ourselves against a Premier league team and we want to go out there and win the game and get to the quarter final. And if we win that game that will give us confidence for our league games.”
Confidence is high in the Owls camp following their 2-0 win over Derby County on Tuesday night a result which brought about a first league win for Jos Luhukay, since he took over from Carvalhal last month.
Reach says he felt it wouldn’t be long before things began to click under the new boss, though the midfielder admitted there was a sense of relief that the victory finally arrived.
“It was a very posituive dressing room, he said.
“We were absolutely buzzing but I think there was a sense of relief that our hard work has finally paid off and we’ve got three points in the league.
“We fully deserved it, we said we’d go out and take the game to Derby and press as a team. I thought we got the balance of doing a high press but with a good defensive shape.”
Reach has become one of the most important players in the squad of late - reliable, responsible, in form, and he has picked up the skippers armband at times.
On Tuesday he looked after debutant Sean Clare and helped George Boyd on his move into a wing back role. It doesn’t, though, detract from his own job: “At the minute I am playing so many games that really comes second nature. I know what I am doing.”