Report appears to confirm Sheffield Wednesday fans' suspicions regarding Carvalhal regime

Carlos Carvalhal manager of Sheffield Wednesday looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday at Macron Stadium on October 14, 2017 in...

Sheffield Wednesday parted company with Carlos Carvalhal on Christmas Eve.

Carlos Carvalhal manager of Sheffield Wednesday looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday at Macron Stadium on October 14, 2017 in...

Sheffield Wednesday's pre-season training "wasn't anywhere near hard or intense enough" - a source told the Sheffield Star.

Wednesday have struggled to match expectations this term, and currently sit 14th in the Championship.

For many Owls fans, fitness - or rather, a perceived lack thereof - played a major part in their downfall under Carlos Carvalhal, who left Hillsborough by mutual consent on Christmas Eve.

And even though Wednesday were victorious at Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day, the physical state of some Owls players was again a cause for concern among supporters.

Carvalhal hired a new medical team at the end of last season, the second in a row in which Wednesday were beaten in the play-offs, but was still without nine first teamers through injury for his final game in charge - a 2-1 defeat at home to Middlesbrough.

An unnamed source told the Sheffield Star: "Pre-season training wasn’t anywhere near hard enough for the players to gain a base fitness that carries them through the season. Hence why so many injuries were picked up in the first half of seasons under Carvalhal.

"Training in general was not intense enough. Players only got conditioning from actual matches."

Ross Wallace of Sheffield Wednesday looks dejected as he is forced off with a injury during the Sky Bet Championship play off semi final, second leg match between Sheffield Wednesday and...

And the newspaper added: "There was no cross-country running, sprints or shuttle runs during their warm-weather training camp in Portugal. It was all ball-related work."

It is also claimed that Carvalhal - whose relationship with senior Wednesday players is said to have "deteriorated over time" - was "involved in a heated bust-up with one individual over his recovery from injury earlier this year", and also clashed with physios "over the treatment of a number of his injured players".

Big-name Owls stars Gary Hooper, Kieran Lee, Fernando Forestieri, Sam Hutchinson, George Boyd, Tom Lees, Glenn Loovens and Almen Abdi have all missed large chunks of 2017.

Who should replace Carvalhal as Sheffield Wednesday boss?

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch