Captain Glenn Loovens has given his full backing to head coach Carlos Carvalhal and hopes he will remain at Sheffield Wednesday.
Carvalhal, appointed Wednesday boss in June 2015, has earned big plaudits, having guided the club to back-to-back play-offs.
But the 51-year-old, who saw his Owls side fall to Huddersfield Town 4-3 on penalties in the Championship play-off semi-finals in midweek, is out of contract this summer.
Carvalhal was linked with the vacant managerial job at Norwich City yesterday.
Loovens said: “Over the past two years, Carlos has been a part of what we’ve been building. He’s a big part of it; I like him as a person and a coach and all the boys are behind him. It’s up to the people above. We have no say. If it’s my say then we go out together again.”
Carvalhal met up with his players at the club’s Middlewood Road training ground yesterday. The genial Portuguese boss intends to sit down with owner Dejphon Chansiri to discuss his future next week.
Centre-half Loovens could not hide his disappointment over the Owls’ promotion dream ending in a cruel manner.
“Everyone works so hard all year and then to be beaten on penalties is never nice,” he said. “At the end of the day, it was two good teams fighting for the same thing and every single player on on the pitch made a game of it.
“We did our best but in the end it wasn’t good enough.”
The experienced Dutch defender has conceded it will take time to get over their latest play-off disappointment.
He said: “It’s hard. We lost out last year and again this year.
“It’s hard to swallow. But I say again, we have to go again. It’s what these fans deserve from us and that’s just how football is.
“It’s hard to look ahead, especially after the other night. We have to take some time off, think a bit and recover and see what happens.”
Loovens has challenged his teammates to make amends next term.
“If you see last season from this year we have improved,” said the 33-year-old. “If we can do the same thing next year who knows where that will take us.
“We have an honest group, we have worked hard every game and now we have to go again.”