Sheffield Wednesday: Forget rumours and Pardew - it is all about tonight for Carlos and his men

Hillsborough rocked in the play-offs last year - make sure it does again
Hillsborough rocked in the play-offs last year - make sure it does again
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It is a day when you'll get plenty of rallying calls - and guess what, here is another one.

The instruction is simple - make sure Hillsborough rocks like we all know it can.

For everything Wednesday have done this season, they deserve the full loud and proud backing they no doubt will get tonight.

There may have been teething issues adapting to life as one of the Championship's big boys. There may have been big money signings not delivering the exact quality we know they can. There may have been more than a few times when pragmatism replaced a desire to attack and entertain.

But who the hell cares?

Carlos Carvalhal's philosophy is very much of a season being a marathon and not a sprint. While more than a few of us have moaned about the methods deployed over the first three quarters of the season, it all came together so spectacularly well when it truly mattered that he can only be praised for that.

And his players too. They might not have been as breathlessly entertaining as they were a year ago, but results show they are more effective.

Carlos and his players have earned what they will get tonight - the Hillsborough roar.

And in such a finely balanced tie, it could make all the difference.

The spectre of speculation appeared yesterday in the form of Alan Pardew, linked to Carvalhal's post in the summer.

We know Carvalhal's contract is up for renewal once Wednesday's season is done and dusted.

And this newspaper had it from a pretty reliable source last month that Dejphon Chansiri was pleased with Carvalhal's performance this season, regardless if promotion is delivered at the end of it.

What we do not know is if minds could be changed either tonight or on Bannk Holiday Monday.

And only Carvalhal himself knows whether he truly wants to stay with Sheffield Wednesday and continue to live apart from wife and family in Portugal.

But these are not issues for now. Talk of Carvalhal's future was off the agenda before the play-offs began and it should stay that way until after they are through.

No disrespect to Carlos - but what we are dealing with right now is bigger than him.

Wednesday stand on the cusp of their biggest game in the post Premier League era.

Tonight they can take a giant step towards ending 17 years of toil and longing and move closer to returning to the promised land where so many believe they belong.

A year ago many supporters saw the play-off campaign as a bonus - an opportunity yes, but one which most did not fully believe would be taken.

Such a mindset can be seen this year in the Owls' play-off rivals. Whisper it, but perhaps most so with tonight's opponents.

It was reflected in the incredible atmosphere at Wembley, even when it became painfully clear they were not going to win the game.

Wednesday were announcing that they were on their way back.

And they still are. Only this time, they carry a greater degree of expectation with them.

Wednesdayites have not been this positive about their teams fortunes at any stage in the last two decades.

There has been an almost universal belief among supporters that they will reach the final - a confidence which existed even before Sunday's first leg draw.

So harness that in the best way possible - make sure Hillsbporough rocks as Wembley did, for the full 90-plus minutes.

There will be hard times tonight. Huddersfield are too good a side to simply step to one side and allow Wednesday to stroll through.

But for however long those tough times last, sing as loud and proud as you would if the Owls were indeed strolling.

A generation of Wednesdayites have not experienced top flight football with their club. A generation of football fans have not experienced top flight football with Sheffield Wednesday involved.

So it is time to bring history into the present and show what Wednesday were and what they can be again.

Hillsborough has been reignited since the arrival of Chansiri and Carvalhal. Occasions like Arsenal, Cardiff and Brighton last season reminded everyone how special a place the grand old girl in S6 is. Those days and Wembley showed what a phenomenal support Wednesday have got.

So show them again.

And we'll deal with whatever comes next when we get to it.