Sheffield Wednesday's play-off achievements lauded by Carlos Carvalhal

HEAD COACH Carlos Carvalhal believes reaching back-to-back Championship play-offs illustrates the strength of his Sheffield Wednesday side.

Steely look on the face of Carlos Carvalhal has they move into the Play Offs....Pic Steve Ellis

The Owls are only the fourth Championship club in the last decade –following Brighton, Cardiff and Nottingham Forest – who have secured play-off football in successive seasons. Finishing in the top six once could be construed as fortunate, but consecutive play-off berths means consistently high levels of football.

“Sometimes when a club achieves one play-off, this time in the Championship, which is very hard, there can be a lot of factors,” said Carvalhal.

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“One is a little luck, (and) with momentum sometimes a team can achieve something.

“But when you achieve this in two seasons, it’s not lucky any more. The work is there. The quality of the work, players and football can get you into the play-offs in two seasons.

“That is so hard to achieve, only Brighton and ourselves have reached that position (this season). This is what we are working hard to achieve at Sheffield Wednesday. Our base is very strong; in successive years to have reached the top six is very good.”

Last year, the Owls were the underdogs, finishing sixth on 74 points, 15 points behind third-placed Brighton, nine behind Hull City in fourth, and trailing fifth-placed Derby County by four.

Only five points separate Reading (82), Owls (81), Huddersfield Town (81) and Fulham (77) ahead of tomorrow’s final games of the regular season.

“This season, I don’t think there is a favourite team. Ourselves, Huddersfield, Reading and Fulham have all similar points, which means, after a marathon, the teams are equal.

“Comparing to last season, 25 per cent (chance of promotion) is very fair, when some teams were better than others.”