Sheffield Wednesday: Why Carlos Carvalhal thinks Swansea City are FA Cup underdogs

Former Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal plans to make changes for tomorrow's clash at the Liberty Stadium
Former Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal plans to make changes for tomorrow's clash at the Liberty Stadium
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Carlos Carvalhal is relaxed about Ki Sung-yueng’s contract situation ahead of Swansea’s FA Cup fifth-round replay against Sheffield Wednesday.

South Korea captain Ki, who has been an influential figure in Swansea’s revival under Carvalhal, is out of contract this summer and has been linked with Italian giants AC Milan.

Swansea have held initial talks with the 29-year-old midfielder about extending his stay, which began in August 2012 when he joined from Celtic in a then club-record £5.5million transfer.

But both parties have agreed to put those negotiations on hold until the end of the season.

“The situation with Ki is very clear,” Carvalhal said at his press conference ahead of Tuesday night’s Liberty Stadium replay against his former club Wednesday.

“I spoke to him when he was injured and we agreed with each other.

“He promised to me he would give everything for the rest of the season to try to help the team stay in the Premier League. That is what I know about Ki.

“After this, it is the end of his contract and it is a different situation.

“But what is important is I have the player until the end of the season.

“He is a very high quality man, not just a player but a high quality man, and I like him a lot.”

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Swansea needed extra games to see off Wolves and Notts County in earlier rounds, and must now replay a fixture for a third time after their goalless stalemate with Wednesday at Hillsborough.

Carvalhal will rotate his squad again, with the battle for Premier League safety his main priority.

He has been boosted by the return of veteran midfielder Leon Britton, who has not played for four months, but January signings Andre Ayew and Andy King are cup-tied.

“I look to the positives of these games, all our squad is involved and some players from the under-23s are playing also,” Carvalhal said.

“Everyone is ready to play and this is the sixth game in the competition in a short period so far.

“Players who have not had the opportunity in the first XI have had opportunities in the cup and are doing well.”

Carvalhal suffered only his second defeat in 13 games as Swansea manager at Brighton on Saturday.

But he insisted that 4-1 loss would have no impact on Swansea’s attempt to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 1964.

“We understand what happened at Brighton as we took risks to score, so this does not have a negative impact on the team,” Carvalhal said.

“It is also a different competition and we are the underdogs.

“I say that not because we are not worse or better, but because this is not our main competition.

“We don’t take risks with the players who play the next game, but after this we choose the best XI to try and win.”

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