THERE has been no ‘Wembley walkabout’ for Sheffield Wednesday this week to familiarise themselves with a stadium opponents Hull City played at twice in 2014.
Instead, head coach Carlos Carvalhal has worked hard to try to keep his side’s preparations as normal as possible before a contest that carries a £200m prize for the winners.
“We did not want to go to Wembley to look around,” explained the Portuguese. “We didn’t do this before games at Brighton, Cardiff, Nottingham or Leeds this season so why would we do that at Wembley? The week has been the same, everything normal.”
Carvalhal has been the unexpected success story of the season in Yorkshire. Arriving as a total unknown, the former defender has proved to be an inspired appointment by chairman Dejphon Chansiri.
“I appreciate that he (Chansiri) chose me in the first place,” said the Owls head coach. “After seven games, we were in 19th position and all the time he supported me and my staff. He gave confidence to us and that was crucial.
“Even if I have invitations with other clubs with more money and status at this moment, my answer to the chairman was I wanted to stay because I like the club, the chairman and the fans. I don’t have any kind of reason to move. I am happy here.”
Chansiri has ploughed millions into Wednesday since buying out Milan Mandaric early in 2015. The fruits of that investment could be reaped today.
“He is probably more excited than us,” said Carvalhal about the Thai businessman who, on taking over, set a target of reaching the Premier League by Wednesday’s 150th anniversary year in 2017.
“It is a new experience to him but he is very proud of our players, the fans and club. He is very happy.”
Asked if he has had to calm down Chansiri in the build-up, Carvalhal replied: “No, he is an adult. He can look after himself.”