Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds United: Tom Lees and Pontus Jansson get set for Hillsborough derby battle
Carlos Carvalhal believes Leeds United are in a similar position to where Sheffield Wednesday were 12 months ago.
The Elland Road club has struggled for early season results, as they look to bed down under boss Garry Monk, incoming players and a new style of football,
United have just one point from their first three Championship outings, but rewind to the start of last season and it was a similar scenario at Hillsborough.
Carvalhal struggled for wins in the opening month – just six points from their first seven games – before things clicked into place and Wednesday were just 90 minutes away from Premier League football.
“They have new ideas, a new coach and new players,” said Carvalhal. “These kind of things take time.
“They are starting a process like we did last season. After seven games, we had six points. We didn’t start well. We had some problems at the beginning and Leeds are in this process.
“The players are understanding the coach’s ideas and this is normal in football.
“We are more strong than we were last season but we have not had an easy start.
“We are completely ready for the game.
“They are a strong side but we must focus on ourselves and what we must do.”
Former Leeds defender Tom Lees returns from injury on Saturday, having missed the Owls’ midweek loss at Burton Albion. Wednesday were forced to play two midfielders as stand-in emergency centre-halves.
“The panorama before the last game was not so good but in this moment it is much better,” said the Portuguese head coach.
“Tom Lees is training normal and has completely recovered. He trained today and is 100 per cent. He is a very, very important player to us. He is a fantastic player. He’s one of the best central defenders in England not just in the Championship to me.”
Leeds will also make changes in defence, with the arrival of Pontus Jansson, who yesterday signed on a season-long loan from Torino.
The 25-year-old Swedish international could make his debut at Hillsborough, alongside midfielder Liam Bridcutt.
Monk said “It’s good to have both of the guys in.”