Carlos Carvalhal pleased to see his injury list shortening

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Sheffield Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal is confident players returning from injury can help their promotion push.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal has hailed the return of some key players ahead of the Sky Bet Championship run-in.

With just eight games to go, Wednesday sit in the final play-off place in the league, but they've picked up just three points from their last 18 available, which has opened the door for the chasing pack in behind.

The Owls squad have been decimated by injuries this season with Tom Lees, Ross Wallace, Fernando Forestieri, Sam Hutchinson and Gary Hooper all spending spells on the sidelines at various points since the turn of the year.

Lees returned in their recent 1-0 defeat to Reading and all the aforementioned players are back in training ahead of Wednesday's trip to Barnsley on Saturday lunchtime.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25: Fernando Forestieri of Sheffield Wednesday attempts a over head kick during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds Unit
Image: Fernando Forestieri is back in training after injury

Carvalhal used the example of Barcelona losing their stars to show the significance of how tough the second half of this season has been for the club.

"Our Gerard Pique is Tom Lee and we've missed him - he's back now," he told Sky Sports News HQ.

"We've also missed our Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta, who are Kieran Lee and Gary Hooper. After this we've also not had our Sergio Busquets, who is Sam Hutchinson, and Lionel Messi, who is Fernando Forestieri. Ross Wallace has also been out; he's our Neymar.

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"Imagine if Barcelona played without all those players? When you take all those players out of Barcelona, it's still Barcelona, but not the same thing."

The Wednesday boss enjoyed great success in his first season in the job, guiding the Owls to the play-off final where they lost 1-0 to Hull City.

With Premier League football being within touching distance at Wembley, expectations have grown within the fanbase at Hillsborough and Carvalhal admits parts of this campaign have been challenging.

"Before the Reading game was probably the most difficult week of my managerial career," he said.

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"It's not pressure, we must try and arrange solutions because as coaches we like to solve problems.

"We need to focus on what we need to do. We need to make our team competitive, try to play good football and then we'll have more chances to win. After these eight games, if we have a good position, then we'll be ready."

Despite their recent drop off in form, Wednesday head into the final stages of the season with exactly the same number of points (62) as they did at this stage of last season, where they finished in the final play-off place.

The reality is that we're in the same position as last season, with the same number of points, so we are not better or worse
Carlos Carvalhal

Carvalhal understands there is a tough battle ahead to make the top-six but wants the club and the fans to unite to make it another exciting end to the season at Hillsborough.

"I'm a resilient guy," he added. "Sometimes I receive a kick on the head - like in the last game - but next day I am ready again. The fans of Sheffield Wednesday and people from Yorkshire in general are like this. We can go down, but people like us react fast and have success soon after. The reality is that we're in the same position as last season, with the same number of points, so we are not better or worse.

"The only difference is last season we missed one player - this season we have missed more."

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