Carlos Carvalhal believes that Sheffield Wednesday can be confident heading into their play-off semi-final with Brighton because they are a better team than when they previously came up against the Seagulls, the Sheffield Star reports.
The Owls have played out a goalless draw with Chris Hughton's men on both of the occasions that they have met this season. But despite Brighton finishing the campaign in third place, and only being denied automatic promotion on the final day, Carvalhal has plenty of belief that the Owls can spring a surprise.
"We have drawn against them both times this season in balanced games and we understand we are playing a top team but I think we are a better team now than in the past," he told the Star.
"We have a positive environment. We will be underdogs but that can be a positive for us. We finished the season very healthy, very fresh, very strong mentally and physically because we managed the squad well over the season."
One factor that will be working in their favour is the disappointment that Brighton will surely be feeling after failing to get the win at Middlesbrough that would have seen them guarantee their place in the Premier League.
While the play-offs provide another chance for the side, missing out on the top two will be a huge blow to their morale ahead of the semi-final.
Another reason that Wednesday can have some hope that they may be able to get the victory is the fact that they will have Fernando Forestieri available for the ties.
The club's top goalscorer was suspended for the previous meeting, which may have been one of the reasons why Carvalhal's men were unable to break the deadlock. And with the 26-year-old being rested on the final day, he will be raring to go and hoping to help fire Wednesday to Wembley.