CARLOS CARVALHAL, despite insisting results in pre-season do not matter, is expecting a big improvement from his Sheffield Wednesday side today in the club’s final friendly.
The Owls, who last night signed highly-rated Portuguese striker Lucas Joao, host St Mirren just three days after crashing to a disappointing 4-2 defeat at League One Scunthorpe United.
Wednesday boasted the fourth-best defensive record in last season’s Championship but the Iron opened up the Yorkshire side’s defence far too easily.
“Normally, my teams do not let in too many goals,” said the Portuguese coach. “We need more balance. But, at Scunthorpe, when we lost the ball in attack we lost our balance and made some very simple mistakes.
“We gave away easy goals and we have to correct that before the season. What I hope is that, as soon as possible, my players will give a completely different answer. Let’s see what kind of blood we have in the body to have a reaction.”
This afternoon’s game with St Mirren provides one last chance to fine-tune preparations ahead of Bristol City’s opening-day visit.
He added: “The players have to give the answers to me. The ones who do so without mistakes and who play with concentration, they will play.”
On the need to bounce back, Carvalhal said: “Not everything is bad when we lose and not everything is good when we win.
“Some things were good at Scunthorpe, we scored two goals and had chances. We played good football at some moments. But we must have 100 per cent focus at all times and stop the mistakes.
“The price can be very high when we make these mistakes. We must do the opposite. To get a goal, we have to create and we have to fight. But, after, we cannot give goals away.”
Tom Lees has signed a contract extension at Hillsborough until the end of 2019