Former Sheffield Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal has told the Singing the Blues podcast that he was hurt when the fans turned against him in his final season at the club.
Carvalhal brought Wednesday the most success they have had since being relegated from the Premier League in 2000. In his first season, the Owls were able to get to the Sky Bet Championship play-off final before losing to Hull City at Wembley. In his second season, Wednesday lost out in the play-off semi-finals.
However things went off the rails in the third season and Wednesday would flounder in mid-table. This led to the sacking of Carvalhal just before Christmas. Now the Portuguese manager is back in his native country in charge of Rio Ave and for the most part, he remembers his time at Hillsborough fondly.
But he has said he was hurt by the way fans turned on him in that final season especially considering the restraints put on him.
Carvalhal said: “We had more expectations in the third season. The minimum people expected was direct promotion.
“We had problems to recruit players again because of the budget and what the players wanted to be at Sheffield Wednesday..
“It was very hard to try and improve the team.
“We started the third season but over November and December we lost seven or eight players that play in the first eleven.
“Imagine if Barcelona play without Xavi, Iniesta (Andrés Iniesta), (Lionel) Messi or Neymar – it is not the same Barcelona. It is completely different.
“This is my little pain about Sheffield Wednesday.
“In the first year, I had an opportunity to go to the Premier League but I said no and that I wanted to stay at Sheffield Wednesday.
“In the second season, I also had very good proposals to go to Championship clubs with more money and I said ‘no, I want to stay at Sheffield Wednesday because of the chairman, the players and the fans.’ I was very clear…I wanted to stay because I felt like I could do something and we could get promoted.
“But I felt a bit of pain because the moment that I needed the fans and the people to help me…I had seven or eight players out of the squad and the people turned their backs to me at that moment.”