Captain Carvalhal determined to steer Owls through choppy waters

09 February 2017 12:09

Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal is refusing to allow the Owls' promotion ship to sink.

The 51-year-old has guided Wednesday to sixth in the Sky Bet Championship as they look to end a 17-year exile from the Premier League.

They host Birmingham on Friday having won just two of their last seven matches, but they are one place and two points better off than they were this time last season.

Last week's 1-0 win at Wigan kept up the pressure on the play-off pack and Carvalhal is confident he can steer the Owls through choppy Championship waters.

"We are winning points, not looking too much to the performance and to other things because I know, because I am the leader of the boat, what happened with my gladiators," he told the club website.

"You need to win points when you feel your boat is in the storm, it's good that in the storm we are going in the right direction - even though you may sway right and then left, you are still going where you need to be.

"We have not lost the direction of the boat but now we have created a new dynamic and that is not easy when you are missing one or two players that are important for that dynamic.

"Some games, we must just win, even if it's in the last minute with a penalty, I don't care. We must just win some games."

Glenn Loovens and Gary Hooper are likely to miss out for the Owls as they aim to halt any Birmingham revival.

Blues are 12th in the table, after boss Gianfranco Zola won his first game in charge at the 11th attempt with Saturday's 1-0 triumph over Fulham.

The manager had come under pressure after replacing Gary Rowett in December and spending £9million in the transfer window as Blues looked to change their style.

But Zola has told his team it has to be the start of his era at St Andrew's.

"We won a game but it's not the end of it and we need to make sure we keep winning with more regularity and moving forwards - the focus already has to be on the next game," the Italian, who is without injured centre-backs Ryan Shotton and Michael Morrison, told the Birmingham Mail.

"We haven't done anything yet. We just won a difficult game which was important.

"We are not paid to win one game, we are paid to win many of them and the one that we are playing against Sheffield Wednesday is one of them and very important.

"We need to make sure we don't relax and have the same focus and attention because Sheffield Wednesday on Friday are not going to do us any favours."

Source: PA