Sheffield Wednesday: Former Owls boss backs Carlos Carvalhal to revive club's fortunes

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Former Sheffield Wednesday boss Brian Laws believes Carlos Carvalhal can still lead the club into the Sky Bet Championship play-offs this season.

But Laws warned the under-pressure Portuguese could pay with his job if he fails to deliver a third successive top-six finish.

When asked if Carvalhal was still the right man for the job, Laws told Press Association Sport: "Yes of course.

"He's had two very close bites at the cherry. I just think the pressure on him as well has shown a little bit, in his post and pre-match talks.

"Unfortunately this comes with the job. The chairman's expectation, with the money he's put forward, is minimum play-offs and they were hoping actually for automatic promotion this season."

The Owls currently sit 11th, 12 points off the top two and four adrift of the play-off places after five league defeats, but they are unbeaten in their last five matches.

"Carlos is a very smart guy, he understands the pressures and what's required," said Laws, who spent just over three years in charge at Hillsborough before being sacked in 2009.

"He's got a really good, close relationship with the chairman and it's been quite evident this season.

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"He recognises that he's missed out twice, but I think the chairman's demands will be a minimum third time and if it's not I think the consequences everyone will know, there possibly will be a departure.

"But it's a long way from that yet. I sincerely hope he gets the wins necessary and gets them back in the play-offs because there's no question this squad has the capability of doing that."

Laws feels rising expectation among Owls fans has cranked up the pressure on Carvalhal and his players.

But the former Nottingham Forest defender saw enough battling qualities while on duty as a radio pundit in Wednesday night's draw at Ipswich to convince him they are on the right track.

"It showed the strength and mentality of the players because they didn't give up," he added. "Losing with seconds to go they still kept going and ended up with a draw at Ipswich.

"There are suggestions the players are a bit brittle, well from Wednesday night's showing, no they're not.

"They've certainly got it in their make-up and they've got quality, there's no doubt about it. But they all need to start firing on all cylinders really to get that run going."

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