Is Carlos Carvalhal feeling the pressure at Sheffield Wednesday?

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 11 : Carlos Carvalhal of Sheffield Wednesday if sent to the stands during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa an

As press conference rants go, it was certainly among the stranger ones.

Recent results hadn't actually been going too badly for Sheffield Wednesday until their Steel City derby defeat on Sunday, but it shows what just one poor result in such a key game can do to a manager.

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Four games unbeaten were followed by the home defeat against Sheffield United - the first time they'd faced their bitter rivals in more than five years - and, all of a sudden, Carlos Carvalhal was showing signs of strain.

"Do you know what this is?" he asked the assembled press at his pre-match conference on Tuesday while holding up a £20 note.

The note was then crumpled and the question posed again. It was then laid flat on the table and beaten. "Same value," he said, making the point that Wednesday are still a good side even after they've taken a beating.

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Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal berated reporters following his side's derby day defeat to Sheffield United.

Two defeats in a row does not equal a crisis, but following up a battering by the Blades with a defeat against Birmingham - a side who hadn't won in their last eight in all competitions - was far from ideal.

Despite that defeat, Carvalhal is confident they can turn it around, starting with their clash with Leeds at Hillsborough on Sunday - live on Sky Sports Football.

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"When we lose one game, it is a big problem at Sheffield Wednesday with the big expectations," he said. "It is a massive club with a lot of fans and big passion. When we lose two games in a row, of course, the fans are not happy.

"We are not happy but it doesn't mean we can't reverse the situation. We have a good opportunity to reverse the situation against Leeds, who are a strong side in the competition.

"This is a tough period, of course. It's something we must manage and we believe we can get out of this situation. We have a derby next. It will be a strong game. I believe in my players."

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday.

Andy Hinchcliffe, meanwhile, believes that the pressure has been ramping up on Carvalhal since their defeat to Huddersfield in May - their second failure in the play-offs in as many years.

"I think the pressure has been building on Carlos since their play-off semi-final defeat to Huddersfield," he said. "I was amazed with how passive they were across those two games and that feeling has carried into this season.

"It was always going to be a tough season after two years in the play-offs because people would be expecting them to kick on and starting thinking about the top two rather than top six."

The Steel City derby defeat and the great start Sheffield United have made to the season hasn't helped either, according to Hinchcliffe - who used to play for Wednesday.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday.

"The manner of that defeat against United has rankled a lot of Wednesday fans," he said. "Losing any game isn't going to help but losing to your biggest rivals in the first derby for more than five years and then going on to lose at Birmingham is a problem.

"Fans will also look at how well Sheffield United are doing as a barometer against their own team. The press conference was so unusual because he's usually so calm and cool. It's a sign he's definitely feeling the heat now.

"He's a wonderful guy and the way he coaches and the way his side plays is so refreshing, but with the money that's been spent will the owners wonder whether it's time to change things? The emotion of that game could cloud people's decision-making, but they can't jump to a rash decision.

"Their squad is as good as any in the Championship apart from maybe Aston Villa's in terms of experience and quality, but that brings pressure as well. The quality of your squad should make things easier but it causes problems when it doesn't go well."

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Hinchcliffe also reckons that the pressure will ramp up even more on Carvalhal if they suffer another poor results against Leeds on Sunday, and that it's time for Wednesday to show their character.

"The Wednesday fans will be looking at the game against Leeds now and thinking they need to win," he said. "It's such a big match and there will be a lot of people who want to see what the team is about in terms of character.

"The Championship is all about rolling up your sleeves when things get tough, and that's the stage Sheffield Wednesday are at. If they lose again then the pressure will become enormous."

Don't miss the Sky Bet Championship clash between Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds at Hillsborough on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event from 12pm

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