Sheffield Wednesday: Carlos confident Owls will stay the course

Carvalhal was not pleased with discussion of squad rotation this week
Carvalhal was not pleased with discussion of squad rotation this week

Line-up changes have undoubtedly provided the week’s biggest talking point at Sheffield Wednesday.

Naming arguably the player on the best run of form in Fernando Forestieri among the substitutes for a trip to the league leaders is always going to split opinion.

Fernando Forestieri

Fernando Forestieri

It is a topic of conversation Owls head coach Carlos Carvalhal clearly has no time for.

He was more than a little affronted when his trend of making changes was brought up yesterday.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with Carvalhal’s selection policy, he is confident his methods have helped set his side up well for the second half of the season, as they look to push into the top six.

In fact, he believes some of Wednesday’s rivals in the upper reaches of the Championship are already struggling from the strain.

“I look to the players, and even though we have small problems right now, we do not have any player in our team who has overtrained,” he said.

“We don’t feel we have one player who can say they are tired in this moment because they did a lot of games and will probably have problems in the future.

“All of them, they are with full energy to go into the second part of the season.

“We can feel this in our players. And we have done this coming from down to up in our form.

“I must tell you that it is happening the opposite for some teams.

“I believe some of my colleagues in the competition have players who have been overtraining and this is starting to affect the individual and the quality of the performance.

“We can check the last six or eight games. Some teams are starting to lose more games than they usually do.

“Stabilisation is important and this full energy we are feeling at this moment can be very important to the second half of the season.”

After a slow start to the campaign, Wednesday have progressed well to head to Fulham for their first game of 2016 sitting seventh in the Championship, four points off sixth spot.

Given the rate of progress, Carvalhal expects the Owls to be stronger in the second half of the campaign.

He said: “I do think we can do better than we did in the first half of the season.

“In the first seven games, we were not complete.

“It was a new coach bringing new ideas that were very different to the players.

“We received new players also in this time.

“When we had all the players we have now, after the Bolton match, we felt more complete.

“We did better and better. Some games better than others but usually with good football.

“It means that if we continue to do what we are doing in the second half, we are in a good position.

“In this challenge, we will win, we will draw and we will lose.

“But as I have said before, I believe the balance in this competition is very important.

“Don’t be euphoric when we win, don’t be under pressure when you lose. Keep your feet on the floor.

“We have expectations we can do better in the second half than the first.”

Carvalhal is expecting a tough test in the opening game of 2016 with Fulham boosted by the arrival of new head coach Slavisa Jokanovic, for whom Saturday’s match will be his first in charge at Craven Cottage.

And Carvalhal is also confident the game will deliver goals with their hosts holding the Championship’s top scoring and conceding rates .

He said: “I think Fulham is the team that has scored the most goals in the competition and we have scored the fourth most.

“They also concede goals as well so it will be an interesting game in my opinion.

“I think both teams can score.

“They have a new coach and with a new coach the players will come with new energy.

“They want to show their abilities to him.

“But this is something we have lived with in the past. I think two or three times we have played in these kind of conditions.

“We understand it and it means we will be more focused and with more energy than normal because Fulham will play like this, I am absolutely sure.

“It will be a tough game.”