Former Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal has opened up on his departure from the club, suggesting poor signings and high expectations played a role in his exit.
The Portuguese coach spent two and a half years at the helm at Hillsborough, leading the Owls in 131 matches.
Carvalhal took charge with the side having finished in mid-table for three consecutive years and led them the play-offs in his first two seasons in charge.
Wednesday were beaten by Hull City the final in 2014/15 and by Huddersfield Town in the semi-final a year later.
On Christmas Eve 2017, Carvalhal was sacked with his 15th after an underwhelming start to the season.
The 54-year-old had a brief spell in charge at Swansea City and is now the manager of Portuguese outfit Rio Ave.
Speaking to The Athletic, Carvalhal opened up on his Wednesday exit and discussed some of the factors involved.
He said: “I was ready to achieve in the third season but what do people want then? Direct promotion.
“We were not at the same level as our opponents. The first season, we did really well we played as underdogs and the second season our opponents were more compact but we did better because we achieved fourth place.
“The third season, we must surprise again. We did stay 4-4-2, which was successful in the last two seasons, but if you ask me if I would change something, it is this season, because we must surprise the opponents and we did not surprise them anymore.”
He added: “The second season we signed players that were not my third option or fourth option, it was players that the advisers proposed. Sometimes we had to decide in the last two days of the transfer window to sign the players. It was really very hard, it is why the club made mistakes.
“I accept that I made mistakes because it was my responsibility but the reality was that everything was really very hard.
“There are the players a manager wants and then there is a list of players suggested by external advisers. In the end, a manager has to pick players from that list suggested by advisers, adapt to that and try what a manager knows best, to coach those players and try his best with that team.”
The Portuguese coach added that he will be “an Owl forever” and revealed that he still has ambitions to manage in English football.
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It’s really interesting to hear Carvalhal’s insight into the circumstances that led to his Wednesday exit.
You feel the Portuguese boss was very unlucky and in many ways a victim of his own successes.
The Owls have not been able to get back to that level since his departure and don’t look like they will be competing for the top six this season.
After a torrid run of form in the new year, Garry Monk’s side are 15th in the Championship – eight points back from the play-offs.