PRESS | Carlos and Lees ahead of Forest

PRESS | Carlos and Lees ahead of Forest

Today’s press conference came with another helping of football through the prism of Carlos’ alternative career in catering. 

“If you are always eating pork beefs and then in your home started appear very good steaks or very good lobster you say, ‘oh this is very good, I don’t eat this kind of food since ten years…’

Then we bring shrimps, you say, ‘shrimps is ok but I prefer lobster’. But you forget that you are eating pork-beef before.”

Before trialling this excellent business proposition, burger vans of Penistone Road take note: Carlos is using a metaphor.

I know! Putting lobster on the table? That’s the entertainment of beating Arsenal and Newcastle.

The shrimps are sort of, well, something else.

I’m really not sure what pork-beef is but I think we might have been eating it for the past 17 years.

If Tom Lees ever uses food-based metaphors you feel there would be a focus on potato-based products and hearty stews, with a clove or two of garlic to represent the technical skills of foreign players.

He’s barely sat down before he cuts to the main course, “We’ve not been anything special… We’ve been okay”

To sweeten things up, Carlos reminds us that this is Wednesday’s best start to a season in three years.

So, one press conference, two slightly different perspectives.

Both Lees and Carvalhal are right.

Although we haven’t got off to a flying start we’re still ahead on points, if not position, on previous seasons. But with Wednesday lying nine points behind top placed Cardiff and propping up the Yorkshire league-within-a league, there is bound to be a bit of belly-aching.

Five games into the new season and the calculators of S6 are already clicking away.

To be fair, you could use your fingers to work out that six points from five games isn’t a magnificent return. But when only the fans of Cardiff, Ipswich and Leeds are counting points on their toes as well, is the gap really troubling?

At the same stage in 2015/16 we had just five and lay 15th in the table. We ended up in the play-off final. In 2016/17 we had four and were in 19th place.

We ended up in the play-off semi.
But this is 2017/18. The Championship, and Wednesday’s position in it, does not stand still.

Times change and so must we.

“We need to get going now”, says Lees.

The Owls’ number 15 gave a pretty down-to-earth assessment of how his team must respond to increased expectations. Unsurprisingly, the centre back focuses on defence.

“For me, the first thing is you’re there to defend…not be soft and give away goals.”

While we’ve only conceded four in the league, many fans would agree with Lees’ sentiment that it could have been even fewer.

Last season’s home habit of toughing out the first 45 minutes before switching on after half-time has carried on through August, with the unwelcome addition of giving away sloppy first half goals (think Sunderland, QPR).

Playing catch up when we’re expected to dominate isn’t part of the plan. Carvalhal thinks “we deserve more points than we have achieved so far.” Lees is bit more direct. “We can’t afford to let it slip much more. We’ve been in games but we’ve just not been at the level we need to…”

Lapses of concentration aside, you’d imagine a back four as mean as Wednesday’s would be overwhelmed by praise from the fans. But for every tackle or block they make, there comes the complaint that they lack creativity on the ball.

Lees feels it’s an area of his game that has improved under Carlos. He’s also very clear the technical skills encouraged by his boss should be tempered with a bit of the old fashioned.

And he seems to have wasted no time in advising his new defensive team mates, “You’ve got to be able to play, be calm and assured on the ball but you’ve also got to be able to run and you’ve got to be prepared to be physical.”

Frederico, Joost – welcome to the Championship.




When Carlos deflects questions about the importance of the next few games you could argue that recent history is on his side.

“September is a month, like will be October… the important month will be May.”

And then you remember Sheffield United, Barnsley and Leeds will visit Hillsborough in the months of September and October. Gulp.

But before all that we have Forest – a fixture that always looks tasty enough for Sky to show live, but has often been a rather drab offering, spiced up by three points for Wednesday in the last five league meetings.

A bit of a pork beef match, you might say.

Lees believes a new manager and different mindset have turned Saturday’s visitors to S6 into “a different beast to what we’ve faced before.”

Mark Warburton has steered Forest ten places and three points above us, taking up a position as one of Carvalhal’s “We are not better than them, we are not worse than them,” group of promotion contenders.

Carlos invokes ‘the power of Sheffield Wednesday, the power of Hillsborough’ to make the difference.

If we grab three points this time it will be without Carvalhal invoking either his players or the fans from the touchline as he serves his two-match ban following the fisticuffs at Bolton.

And without the injured Forestieri, who scored in last season’s away fixture.

It’s a tough one to call. We want lobster! But shrimp would be perfectly acceptable.


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