CARLOS CARVALHAL has reiterated the need for his Sheffield Wednesday side to have a British core despite several of the club’s summer signings having come from abroad.
The Owls yesterday signed Norwich City defender Michael Turner on a season-long loan, the latest addition to a squad that has seen arrivals reach double figures during the transfer window.
Five of those have come from outside Britain, but head coach Carvalhal remains adamant that Wednesday can only achieve success if the bulk of his side is experienced in the unique demands of the Championship.
“I am happy with the balance of my squad,” said the 49-year-old Portuguese, who in succeeding Stuart Gray became the first foreign coach to take charge at Hillsborough.
“All the time, we are playing six or seven players that know the Championship. It is the majority of the team.
“They know the Championship, have experience of the Championship. This has happened because I try to care about that.
“It is one thing that sometimes makes a difference between me choosing one player or another (to play). In the same conditions, I prefer the players that know very well the Championship, especially at this part of the season.”
Turner is back in Yorkshire six years after leaving the county to join Sunderland from Hull City, then in their second season as a Premier League outfit.
He remained in the top flight until last year, when Norwich –who the defender joined in 2012 – were relegated to the Championship.
The former Tigers defender started 2014-15 in the Canaries’ line-up but the appointment of Alex Neil in January soon saw him fall out of favour. He spent the final weeks of last season on loan at Fulham.
“We have brought in a player who knows the Championship and English football,” said Carvalhal, who denies yesterday’s signing will see the Owls switch to a back three once the international break is out of the way.
“Turner has come to the club because he can give energy. We have had information that he is a strong personality, he likes to win, he likes to fight.
“It is a very welcome signing and allows us to share (the burden) round the players. For example, Tom Lees has played all the matches so far. I believe Turner can give us energy and experience.”
With the clock ticking down towards Tuesday and the closure of the summer transfer window, Wednesday are hoping to make at least one more addition.
Fernando Forestieri is high on the club’s wish-list with sources in Watford indicating that the Owls have made contact.
Leeds United agreed a £3m fee for the Italian last week but, as yet, no deal has been finalised, giving rival clubs hope of pipping the Elland Road outfit.
Carvalhal, for his part, refuses to discuss publicly any players who belong to other teams.
Earlier this week, though, the Portuguese revealed that the 4-2-3-1 formation he has used so far this season is down to the personnel at the club.
With Atdhe Nuhiu and new signing Lucas Joao having shared the lone frontman duties, this led to speculation over the former’s future at Hillsborough if a new striker can be found before the deadline.
However, asked yesterday about Nuhiu and what he brings to the squad, Carvalhal launched a passionate defence of the striker.
The Owls’ head coach said: “The first thing to me is that he gives 100 per cent. No one can tell me he is not running, not fighting. He is giving the maximum and I appreciate that.
“If you ask me if he has some limitations, he has some limitations. If you ask me if he has very good things, he has very good things also.
“It is important to look to the positive things he gives to the team, not just the limitations. He is a player that disturbs our opponents. All the time the opponents are asking if he is playing because they care about the way he plays. Not just to the first balls, but the second balls.
“He is a player that has a good presence around the central defenders. He wins a lot of flicks, he waits for the colleagues and keeps the ball.
“He is not a speed attacker, he is not a killer, but he is a player that gives to us something we need. Complementary with other players, he can give a lot. Sometimes in the beginning or in another part of the match, he can help a lot. He is helping us and scoring as well. He is a different player.
“You can see everything in two ways; the bad things or the good things. I prefer to look to the good things, I am an optimist.
“He has good things but, of course, he is not Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. The good things, though, that he has can help me or any coach in the Championship. I am absolutely sure of that.”
Keiren Westwood is again missing for the Boro clash with a bruised kidney, while Glen Loovens remains a big doubt.