PRESS | Carlos calls for unity

PRESS | Carlos calls for unity

We haven’t seen much of Glenn Loovens on the pitch this season, but the club captain put in a sterling performance at today’s press conference.

The centre-back stuck to the task, breaking the squad’s silence since last Sunday on:

The Head Coach – “Carlos as a person and as a manager is very experienced and knows exactly what to do and when to say things… [defending the players] says a lot about him as a coach and a manager and it’s a big reason why we are all behind him.”

The players – “As players we have to be critical of ourselves as well.”

The fans – “If they boo once [as at Birmingham mid-week] let them express their feelings. I’m pretty sure next game they will be behind us again. When things go tough they can help us so much.”

And back to Carlos – “We are all behind him… He is the stable factor in this club.”

Echoing Carlos earlier in the week, the Dutchman also talked about having his eyes set firmly on the future:

GL: right behind his gaffer (The Star)

“The past is the past. We don’t look at that anymore. Our focus is on the game on Sunday.”

Job done. And no disrespect to Jacob Butterfield, who originally pencilled as the player to attend today, it is hard to think of anyone who could convey ‘don’t panic’ in quite the same way.

The only unanswered question is why Loovens wasn’t put in front of the microphone sooner?

If the hope was the team would do the talking versus Birmingham on Wednesday, that turned out to be a bit of an own goal.

Defeat at St Andrew’s poured fuel on the flames still raging after Sunday’s derby drubbing.

Losing two on the trot is one thing; losing against our fiercest rivals followed by handing the Blues their first win of the season has melted the mobile phones of South Yorkshire.

 

Marathon Man

 

A couple of weeks ago Carlos revisited his mantra that the Championship is a marathon not a sprint, and the prizes are handed out in May. “At the end, the best teams will be up, and the worst teams will be down.”

He mentioned it again today.

One of the laws of marathon running is that you should know your goal and stick to it. When the starting pistol fired the expectation was automatic promotion.

As we pass the equivalent of the six-mile mark, the Owls are more or less on par with our time at the same stage in the last two seasons.

Currently ten points off first place, we’ve had a stutter a few miles in. There’s plenty of time to catch up but we can’t let the gap between us and the leading pack grow.

To stretch the point a bit further, when the competition hits the wall, we must be close enough to catch up and take advantage.

The Championship is a marathon

As Carlos reminds us today, Wednesday’s personal best was set by him.

“Since ’87, the start of the Championship play-offs, Sheffield Wednesday were never there. [Now] we achieved two play-offs in two seasons. Third best rating of points in a season for Sheffield Wednesday. The best rating of points in the last 50 years. Five zero, 50 years.”

Two successive Championship play-offs for a club that had spent the previous fifteen years struggling to cross the line before the stadium lights were switched off. It’s a rapid rate of improvement that would have you reaching for an athlete’s biological passport.

Measured against our living memory, Carlos is dope.

My own, very slow, personal best was fuelled by a determination to cross the line ahead of a gentleman dressed as Darth Vader.

The sworn enemy have stormed ahead (Image – SUFC on Twitter)

Mr Vader had bobbed in and out of sight throughout the race. By the finishing straight he’d assumed the status of sworn enemy.

Unfortunately for Carlos, two of the teams currently setting the pace are our very own Phantom Menace.

Watching the Blades and Leeds flourish their light sabres is seriously messing with the fragile mental well-being of Owls fans.

Some are so disturbed by it all they can be found wandering around twitter and local radio phone-ins mumbling ‘Gary Megson’, ‘Sam Allardyce’ – even in extreme cases, ‘Al@n P@rdew’.

Carlos has become the story. He mentioned today, not for the first time, he was approached by Premiership and Championship clubs at the end of last season.

He decided to stay because he likes the chairman, the club and the players. The fans? Right now, he prefers the letter-writers to the Facebookers and Tweeters.

 

Sunday

 

Thomas Christiansen has proved an instant success at Leeds, fulfilling the promise shown under Gary Monk last season and seemingly taking the team to another level.

Free scoring but also prone to let them in, expect to leave the ground with your finger nails bitten to the quick.

Coming at the end of what must be the most difficult period in his time at the club, the prospect of a pasting by our in-form visitors adds further pressure on Carvalhal. He insists he is “strong [and] looking forward to the game on Sunday.”

How will his players, and the fans, respond?

For some in the crowd the only acceptable remedy for the pain of the past week will be three points taken before lunch on Sunday.

From Loovens’ point of view, it is a welcome chance to move on.

“In this league you have always opportunity to get things right because the next game is always around the corner. There’s a big game coming up… and we have to make sure we get the right result.”

Back in August, David Jones (dropped for the mid-week loss at Birmingham) shared his thoughts on what was needed for Wednesday to gain promotion this time of asking: Progression, consistency, patience, and taking our chances.

Sunday provides a perfect opportunity for Carlos and his squad to show all four qualities.

.OWLS ALIVE circliar yeller SPACE

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Angela

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

Images: SWFC, unless stated. Header – The Star, Sheffield.


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