PRESS | Carvalhal dances to the tune

PRESS | Carvalhal dances to the tune

Ross Wallace and Carlos Carvalhal faced the music at today’s press conference

Both player and coach are gearing up for a run of fixtures that could define Wednesday’s season.

With three of the next four matches at home, attention naturally fell on the role fortress Hillsborough might play.

Ever the strategist, CC has now turned his attention to crowd management and musical direction.

His observations about last weekend’s welcome win at Wolves were less about the game and more about the singing. He’s not blaming the travelling fans but…

“Because they are spread [at Molineux] maybe they are 70 metres from each other, sometimes one starts singing something and another starts singing different things, they don’t have good co-ordination.

It is a good example. What is a team? What is a club? When we are together, when we sing the same song, when we play the same thing, when we fight to the same thing we are strong.”

The upshot of his analysis of crowd behaviour is that Carlos wants to hear a full house “sing the same songs” on Saturday afternoon.

 

 Oh, it’s a long, long while from May to December (Kurt Weill)

 

Wednesday are looking to build on last week

Wednesday are looking to build on last week

While May 2016 saw Wednesday in the play-off final, Preston were already off on their holidays having finished a respectable 11th, twelve points behind the Owls.

Our first fixture in December 2016 sees the visitors arrive on the back of just one defeat in their last ten league games.

The Lilywhites sit three points beneath us, with many pundits – including Ross Wallace today – feeling they may nudge into the play-offs.

Wallace and his boss would of course prefer to be looking up the table rather than over their shoulder.

Having started the season with caution, the words ‘automatic’ and ‘promotion’ started to be said out loud after victory over QPR in October.

With only one victory in four since then, we’re back in cautious mode.

Wallace rejects the notion that the Christmas fixture list is make or break, but he’s clear that consistency and climbing up the table are a must if Wednesday are to match or better the achievements of last season.

“At the minimum we want to get in the play offs.

“If we don’t manage to do that I think we would be disappointed.

“Catching the top two is possibly going to be difficult… If we aim to be in the playoff [places] round about February or March, we can kick on from there.”

There are a few milestones between now and our number 33’s target date.

Wallace feels Wednesday are getting back to their best

Wallace feels Wednesday are getting back to their best

For a start, a run of three home games in four matches should test whether singing the same song at the same time has the beneficial impact CC hopes for. Then there’s the Boxing Day trip to St James’ Park.

Few would disagree with Wallace when he says “Newcastle aren’t looking as though they’re going to drop points at the minute.”

 

Oh, January – Don’t go, don’t go (Pilot)

And then there’s the January transfer window.

The chairman has hinted at a contract extension for Forestieri, but…

Then there are the rumours about Premier League interest in Kieran Lee and Tom Lees. With so many recent signings and extensions citing club and player sharing Premier League ambitions, any fan would fear unless we’re in that mysterious territory called ‘there or thereabouts’ come January, raids on Wednesday’s squad might be harder to resist.

A wanted man?

A wanted man?

CC stands firm. “There are a lot of things to do to move a player and it is not easy to move a player from Sheffield Wednesday because we are not selling players.”

There’s a slight undercurrent though. The boss talked at length about the positive impact of signing for SWFC. He’s talked before about buying talented players who were in the doldrums and coaching them back to their best.

Today there was more than a hint that the benefit was to their lifestyles as well as their skills. And he referred again to having turned down management offers from other clubs because of his respect for Sheffield Wednesday and the chairman. “To move a person that is happy is not easy.”

I was reminded of the tweets CC sent before the now infamous Norwich game, praising players and staff who had travelled with the team despite injury and personal problems.

Is he hinting at ingratitude from some quarters? Perhaps January will tell.

If Wednesday aren’t selling in January, will we be buying? The social media threads and phone-in rants about Carvalhal collecting midfielders seem to have died down of late. While he’ll be checking the market for quality, adding to the size of his squad doesn’t appear to be a priority, “Don’t expect a revolution because we don’t need it.”

 

He can hear the song of home endlessly (Van Morrison)

 

Up next

Up next

Wallace may say he’s happy to wait until February but Carvalhal had his foot firmly on the gas today, driving home his message about making S6 advantage count.

“Nobody can beat us at Hillsborough with our fans giving 100% support, especially in the difficult moments of the game.”

December’s run of home fixtures including two tricky local derbies (remember what Rotherham did to us last year), where our capacity to sing the same song at the same time will be put to the ultimate test.

Preston have won three and lost three of eight away games this season.

Last season, just over 20,000 saw Lee, Pudil and McGugan score in a 3-1 victory over Saturday’s visitors. A repeat of that result, maybe with a clean sheet for good measure, would certainly bring out the chorister in us all.

OWLS ALIVE circliar yeller SPACE

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Angela

Owls Alive
E-MAIL: admin@owlsalive.com
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive and @ABGalvin

Images: SWFC


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