PRESS | Carvalhal coy ahead of Cardiff

PRESS | Carvalhal coy ahead of Cardiff

Press conferences can feel a bit like Groundhog Day.

With matches coming thick and fast there is, it seems, a limit to how many variations there are to questions and answers about the result, the players, the injuries, the opposition.

So you listen out for any slight changes of emphasis or tone that might make this particular one stand out.

A few weeks ago, in the general chit chat as we waited outside in the rain, the guy from Sky joked about how the press facilities might be upgraded when Wednesday are promoted. He did say ‘when’.

Another journalist said, “It ain’t going to happen.” He meant promotion.

Today, that same nay-saying journalist seemed positively glowing as he questioned Carlos and David Jones about Huddersfield, Cardiff and… promotion.


Frequently asked questions


The media turn up to press conferences with a selection of FAQs, depending on circumstances.

On the back of Sunday’s hard fought win at Huddersfield, the list with questions about Wednesday’s poor form away from home has been put to one side.

Wednesday have won consecutive away games

Wednesday have won consecutive away games

Instead, Carlos is asked whether our fantastic away form will hold out against Cardiff.

The irony doesn’t escape him.

“Everything changes very fast.

“When we lose against Brighton some negative things came out very fast, and now after one game everything has changed, everything is positive!”

Another stock question that has been parked for now is the matter of the goals against column. Back in August Tom Lees and Sam Hutchinson spoke of their desire to at least match last season’s record 17 clean sheets.

After a promising first two games, the Owls seemed unable to lock up shop and doubts were being raised about the central defence partnership. Now, with two clean sheets out of three we’re back onto going for that record again.

The boss repeated his philosophy that he “preferred to win 6–5 than 1-nil because it is more interesting for the people,” going on to say he’d be happy winning by a goal or “even half a goal.”


Wisdom of the crowds


Coaches' input important to CC

Coaches’ input important to CC

What’s certain is that Carvalhal never willingly sets his teams up to play for a draw.

He revealed today that his coaching team strongly advised a slightly more conservative team for the trip to Huddersfield.

“I said to them, you are correct… but I want to win the game, we must win the game. I don’t want to control the game, I want to win.”

Which we did.

But looking at the superior goal difference of all the teams above us, and many below, there is clearly a need not only to be keeping the defence tight but also winning by greater margins.

Back to those FAQs. As if to pre-empt the standard queries about squad size – particularly in midfield – the boss gave an unprompted analysis of how strength in depth made Sunday’s win possible, singling out Ross Wallace’s balancing role in particular.

As for Wallace grabbing Huddersfield’s tactical note from Kachunga and having a sneaky read, “We are teaching the players to do that… It’s something we are training for all the time because we want all the information!”

With fickle fans and the media swinging between doom and glory, is it any wonder Carlos sometimes gets a bit flippant? The hard facts are that twelve games in, Wednesday are four points and two places better off than at the same time last season.


Lucky for some


Will fixture number 13 nudge the Owls the right side of that dotted line on the Championship table?

Up next: Cardiff

Up next: Cardiff

The home tie against Cardiff back in April provided one of the most memorable moments of the season, the 3-0 win over the Bluebirds confirming our play-off place. Happy days.

On the road Cardiff had been a tougher nut to crack, with Wednesday coming from behind to grab a draw thanks to late goals from Forestieri and Bannan.

That was then, this is now.

Tomorrow evening’s visit sees Wednesday take on a Cardiff side revitalised by the pantomime villain that is Neil Warnock.

Credit where it’s due, he has an impressive record when it comes to reversing the fortunes of struggling clubs, and he’s had an immediate effect in South Wales.

Warnock turned sure fire relegation into remarkable survival for Rotherham last season, with a run in including a 1-0 victory at Hillsborough.

If Carvalhal has any desperate need for revenge, it doesn’t show. When asked about his opposite number, he didn’t quite match the glowing praise he’d heaped on Chris Hughton the other week.


Poker faces


But even Warnock will struggle to get his dressing room wound up and ready for a fight on the back of Carvalhal saying, “He is a very interesting person. I look forward to talking to him again tomorrow.”

David Jones also played poker face when, ‘as a Wednesday fan’, he was asked whether Warnock would have his team especially fired up against the Owls. Deep breath.

“I haven’t really seen it like that.” There’s nothing to see here. Move on.

Jones was impressive on Sunday

Jones was impressive on Sunday

As Carlos said, “Football is not about coaches it is about the teams.” Jones and his boss agree that whatever team Warnock puts out tomorrow will be very well organised.

To quote Carlos again, “The game against Cardiff will probably be more difficult than against Huddersfield but we understand how they play… We’ve studied the way that they play and we are confident, but understand it will be tough.”

So by the time of the next press conference we will either have dusted off the FAQ list A staples like brittle defending, poor away form; or be sticking with list B favourites promotion glory, defensive records broken.

Carlos will carry on talking about attitude, confidence, heart and soul. And win, lose or draw, the clocks won’t have gone back yet and Wednesday will be in the play-off mix.

A win would be extra sweet though, wouldn’t it?

OWLS ALIVE circliar yeller SPACE




Owls Alive
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive and @ABGalvin

Images: Carvalhal, Ewood Park and Carvalhal/Bullen – SWFC. CCFC crest – CCFC. Jones – author.

One Comment

  1. Are you a professional journalist by any chance, Angela? It’s just that your articles are put together so well I’m sure you could teach Doom Whoson a thing or two (about writing).

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