‘He’s the enemy but he’s a good bloke too’: McCarthy backs Carvalhal to lead Owls to play-offs

Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal . Picture: PA

Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal . Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Mick McCarthy has backed ‘top bloke’ Carlos Carvalhal to guide Sheffield Wednesday into the Championship top six by the end of the season.

The Owls come to Portman Road for tonight’s game just a point behind the Blues, with Carvalhal guiding them to the play-offs in each of his two seasons at the club.

He arrives with an enviable forward line including former Town striker Jordan Rhodes, as well as Steven Fletcher and Gary Hooper, with McCarthy confident he will lead the Owls to the end of season lottery once again.

“I think they will get in the top six,” McCarthy said. “They have been there, are used to being in there and it’s hard to be in the play-offs and then not get promoted. You can have a real down turn, which I think they’ve had, and now they seem to be coming back this year.

“Forestieri, Hooper, Fletcher and Rhodes mean they have some real firepower when they get it going.

“They have some good suppliers too with Wallace and Reach, so they are not bereft of options, that’s for sure.

“They’ve got a good squad and I think Carlos is a top bloke, I really like him. He’s brought other things with him as well but he seems to have embraced everything about the Championship.

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“We all like him, all the staff, but I don’t want to give him anything until after the game. He’s the enemy, but he’s a good bloke.”

McCarthy also revealed the tradition of managers sharing post-match drinks is still alive and well.

“Most of us do, although there are some that don’t,” he said.

“Generally speaking it’s the Brits who do it but Carlos did and I will always remember the Italian guy (Giuseppe Sannino) at Watford who was great. He didn’t speak English, I didn’t speak Italian but we had a conversation for about 10 minutes about how it’s war all the time in Italy and it’s not social. I think there should be the mutual respect after games even if you are seething at the referee or something.

“There aren’t that many of us so that’s always been, for me, the way that he’s done it.”