Talksport pundit raves about Sheffield Wednesday stars and head coach Carlos Carvalhal

Ian Holloway

Ian Holloway has been impressed by the Owls in the Championship this season.

Ian Holloway was full of praise for Sheffield Wednesday when discussing the Championship play-offs on Talksport.

Owls head coach Carlos Carvalhal arrived as a shock appointment last summer, but has turned the Yorkshire side into the division's surprise package - finishing sixth and defeating Brighton & Hove Albion over two legs to seal their place in next weekend's play-off final.

The Portuguese, who previously managed Besiktas, Sporting CP and a string of clubs in his homeland, has brought in 18 new faces far, making Wednesday's achievement all the more impressive.

And Holloway, who led Blackpool and Crystal Palace to promotion via the play-offs, has been impressed with four in particular - not to mention Carvalhal himself.

"I’ve been so impressed with him (Carvalhal) this year," the Bristolian said during Friday's edition of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show.

"I really like the man, I love his interviews and the way they play is beautiful - some lovely movement between the front players. You’ve got (Ross) Wallace and Barry Bannan coming in off the wings, you’ve got (Gary) Hooper who is a fantastic striker.

"I don’t understand (why other clubs haven’t taken a chance on him). I just love his all-round game, I didn’t realise how strong he is, he gets his backside in there, he keeps it, and with (Fernando) Forestieri just behind that - he’s a good player. They’re all interchanging all around the field - I love it!"

Wednesday were founder members of the Premier League in 1992 and top-flight mainstays throughout the remainder of the decade.

Despite this, the club has fallen on hard times since its relegation 16 years ago and has twice been down to third tier - most recently in 2012 - but a change of ownership in 2015 has accelerated the Owls' rise.

And a win against Hull City next Saturday will see them return to their spiritual home a year before their 150th anniversary.

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