HEAD COACH Carlos Carvalhal has a message to Sheffield Wednesday supporters who were secretly harbouring hopes of a marquee signing to top off two strong transfer windows on Monday evening.
He says that is simply not his or club Dejphon Chansiri’s style, with substance adhered to in the corridors of power at S6.
Wednesday’s wealthy Thai owner may have arrived at Hillsborough amid much fanfare.
But commendably, for someone whose experience of English football is far from extensive, he has avoided falling into the trap so favoured by some foreign-based owners in the domestic game of making ‘trophy’ signings, complete with outlandish statements of intent.
While Chansiri has wafted the cheques to spend around £12.5m on players, the recruitment has been structured as opposed to scattergun.
Deficiencies have been addressed and bases covered, with contract extensions signed by the likes of Barry Bannan, Sam Hutchinson and Atdhe Nuhiu last month also illustrative of the structured planning taking place at the club.
Wednesday are happy to leave it to the likes of Middlesbrough and Derby to spend big, with Boro’s £11m deal to sign Jordan Rhodes adding to the combined fee of around £10m to take two 30-year-olds in Stewart Downing and David Nugent in the summer.
Derby were also willing to spend £6m on 28-year-old Bradley Johnson in August in another head-turning deal.
The signings of the likes of Gary Hooper, Fernando Forestieri, Lucas Joao and Bannan have all targeted specific areas and with a strategic purpose.
But equally, other less heralded captures have built up the Owls’ core with their squad options among the best in the Championship – and Carvalhal’s sense of satisfaction is clear.
As is his message to those who bracket Wednesday as a spendthrift club.
Carvalhal said: “In the press, I sometimes read a lot about a lot of millions.
“But I still say the chairman is doing very well.
“We didn’t do any crazy investment in the players with the money. We are very balanced.
“In the press, they talk about players who go for 10, 12 or 15 million. People have this idea that we spend this money and people are talking about Rhodes and (Emmanuel) Adebayor and so on. But it is not our reality.
“Our reality is the balance through the correct money for the correct players and we improve the players, so that they are here at the end of the season after costing £1m and they can cost £5m to opponents.
“That is our work and we are doing it very well.
“Between what people say is happening in the press and the reality, there is a big gap.
“Sometimes, I also think our opponents create an idea we have bigger or better budgets compared with others. It is not a reality, it is fantasy.
“Between the quality of the players that we choose and the money that we spend, we are doing very well.
“We will spend the correct money and our chairman is very clever and very good on management. We must spare the reality from the fantasy and we have our feet on the floor. My chairman is also and doing very well.”
This afternoon, the Owls make the trip to another success story who have quietly gone about their business and slipped under the radar in Birmingham City, with Carvalhal detecting a correlation between the clubs.
The Portuguese believes that both are outsiders in the promotion stakes, battling against the likes of Derby and Boro and two other sides who possess a steely determination to return to the top flight at the first time of asking – Hull City and Burnley.
The Owls, who will be backed by 3,000 travelling fans at St Andrews, are seeking a season’s double and a repeat of the accomplished 3-0 triumph on Boxing Day would certainly do nicely.
Carvalhal said: “We played them some weeks ago and had probably our best performance of the season.
“We know it will be difficult, because I think they are unbeaten in their past six games, but we are in a good way too.
“It will be an interesting game and we fight to bring the three points.
“I believe that us and Birmingham are both outsiders.
“We are running, but running from outside. Birmingham are also having a very good season at this moment.”