PRESS | Carlos readies Owls for last push

PRESS | Carlos readies Owls for last push

Carlos and Jose Semedo faced the press today.

And while you’re humming his ‘magic… you’ll never get past Semedo’ theme tune, it’s worth flagging up that Carlos Carvalhal is definitely not magic. He said so.

“I am not magic… but 99% of the things I told you before about the team, about how we’re playing, about how we would play better, I said the correct things with sense. All the time I do this, if you pay attention.”

There speaks a man riding high on confidence.

And why not?

The head coach’s swagger seems to have rubbed off on the dressing room too.

According to Semedo, the players are fully motivated, delighted at the style in which things have been turned around, and confident Wednesday can reach the play offs.

“It’s amazing. The manager must be so proud and happy.”

With memories of his role in the 2011 promotion side still fresh, the veteran celebrates the possibility of a step up to the Premier League with as much energy in the press room as he does on the bench or during his ‘steady at the back’ cameo roles.

Happy memories

And the next shot at promotion – whenever that might be – will be less about the excitement of getting to the Championship departure lounge and more about taking off and landing in the Premier League.

“We have to put the cherry on top of the cake,” he says. Though the ‘how do we get there, I don’t know’ giddiness factor might crank up if we see Jose’s pal Ronaldo visits S6.

Yes, it came up again. I’d guess CR7 won’t be asked to do the half-time draw, but you never know.

 

Yorkshire Pride

 

But before all that, Carlos opens his remarks with some thoughts that kind of make you proud we’re not a club that’s just appointed, say, Harry Redknapp to steer us clear of relegation.

It’s a cliché but nonetheless true that the death of Ugo Ehiogu is one of those things that puts football in perspective.

Carvalhal expressed his sympathy. He went on then to congratulate not only Brighton – we know he’s a big admirer of Chris Hughton – but also Sheffield United and Doncaster on their promotions, saying,

“It is important that this area has strong and powerful clubs. I hope that all of us can join in the Premier in the future.”

 

History Lessons

 

There are those who think you learn everything from history, and those who think it teaches us nothing.

And then there are the people who memorise every last twist of every past season to discover some pattern – based on relative positions, team strips, pre-match breakfasts, anything – that will settle the nerves and be taken as a portent of better days to come.

As we approach the final stages of the strange eventful history of Wednesday’s season, we pick through our shared memories.

There’s Donnelly’s 89th minute ‘winner’ cancelled out by Srnicek’s 89th minute own goal v Derby in the year of doom that was 2000.

No, let’s pop that to the back of the filing cabinet of our fevered minds.

Wednesday are looking to end another winless streak

Or 30 April 2006 – the last time we actually beat Saturday’s visitors. Ok, it was 11 years ago, but it was in April.

And it’s April now, isn’t it? Yes, the same month. That’s got to be, like, hugely significant.

Meanwhile, the rational human being that is Carlos chips in his views on such matters:

“Each game has a different history. We don’t look to the history of the games too much. We look to the present – what they can do, what we can do. This is the most important. We will play 96, 93, 98 minutes tomorrow depending on extra time. In this period, we will be making history.”

 

Saturday

 

This season of false starts, odd disappointments and stunning wins will be judged on the next 270 minutes (ok, a bit longer if we use Carvalhal’s watch), starting with the visit of Derby County.

The Rams’ stately slide from promotion places began earlier than usual this year, but they’ve picked up a bit recently.

If, like Jose Semedo you cannot see yourself in any other colour than white and blue, you will no doubt be hoping that the history being written from 3pm tomorrow is one that revives memories of derring do and last-minute winners rather than own goals and the yo-yo years.

While Semedo reminds us that it’s “One pitch, two teams. Anything can happen” he’s also keen to big up the influence of the crowd.

A potential return?

After all, he says it was witnessing Hillsborough rock in his days with Charlton that led him to think, “Jesus, I want to play for this club.”

With a crowd of 29,000 or so, Saturday promises to bring the atmosphere that makes Carlos “feel like chicken skin.”
The head coach is typically cagey about the opposition: “I don’t like to talk about the neighbours…[but] they have a good coach, good players, good organisation.”

Our jostling for a play-off place would be slightly more comfortable had it not been for the penalty that never was at Pride Park. A clear handball on the line. Seen by everyone in the ground apart from that bloke with the whistle.

“The worst decision of the year,” according to Carlos. (Perhaps not quite as bad as some decisions in the world of politics, but let’s not go there).

The Rams rode their luck and went on to take the game.

So, we have an axe to grind, three points to win and just three games to make history or break hearts. And then the prospect of three more. One of them at Wembley…

Chicken skin all round, I reckon.

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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