Carvalhal blames hectic fixture list as Wednesday suffer in Wolves stalemate

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY head coach Carlos Carvalhal has cited a schedule of two matches in the space of three days as being the reason behind his side's laboured performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers '“ and believes that the holiday schedule was unfair to Championship sides.

Disappointed Owls trio Ross Wallace,Carlos Carvalhal and Jack Hunt at the final whistle.

In front of a Hillsborough crowd of 30,549 – the Owls’ biggest league attendance this season – the hosts produced a subdued performance against visitors who were unfortunate not to take home the three points in a 0-0 stalemate.

A defeat for seventh-placed Derby at Norwich at least ensured that the Owls remain in the top six after their second successive draw.

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Carvalhal believes that it would have been fairer for all Championship clubs to play holiday games on Friday and Monday – and ensure a longer and fairer turnaround and better spectacles in the process.

Carvalhal said: “In my country, Portugal, we cannot play twice in 72 hours.

“I am not complaining as we play in the same circumstances as the other team. But this is a big problem to the players who are playing in ‘the red line.’

“We played with the strongest team, but also protected some players to stop losing them for three or four weeks.

“I just ask why we do not play Friday and Monday? Everyone is on their holidays. We could play Friday and Monday and the distance between the games is normal and we can recover and the coaches can prepare for the games in terms of strategy and set-pieces, everything.

“Then all the games can be better, not just ours.”

On his side’s showing, he said: “I do not know if we gain one point or lose two points. But the draw was the correct score and we must accept it.

“Thinking about the future, we have some days to rest and the (FA) Cup game and I think that this time will be very, very welcome for us to recover six or seven players who have little things that disturb their performance a little and hopefully we will be better in the future.

“After 48 hours, no-one can control nothing. You try your best and put out your best team to win the game and play the players who recover better than others.

“But it is not easy to control for all the coaches in the world. You do not know what will happen after 48 hours.”

Acknowledging that his side looked mentally jaded, Carvalhal added: “My players gave the maximum. But the maximum we gave in the attitude was not good in the performance. We clearly accept this.

“The main problem when you play two games in a short time is the mental problem. Sometimes, the body gives a good answer, but the head does not think so fast.

“Our team did not perform well, it is absolutely sure.”

Carvalhal handed a debut to loanee Callum McManaman following his arrival from West Brom – and while accepting that the winger was lacking match sharpness, he believes that there is plenty more to come from him.

Carvalhal – who confirmed that Kieran Lee was brought off at the interval due to a ongoing fitness issue, which will be further assessed – added: “He will be better and he gave some signs of what he can do in one-to-one. He’s a good player to us for the future and we put him in because we needed him.

“I have a good feeling about him for the future.”

Wolves manager Paul Lambert thought his side should have gained more than a point.

He said: “I think anybody at the stadium saw that we deserved to win. If we walked out of the stadium winning 3-0 I don’t think anybody would have questioned it.

“I think we should have had two penalties, we hit the post twice and Joe Mason should have scored, but I still thought we were excellent. It shows you how far we’ve come.”