Sheffield Wednesday boss Carvalhal defends players after Middlesbrough defeat

Sheffield Wednesday boss Carvalhal defends players after Middlesbrough defeat

The 51-year-old was quick to defend goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith, whose error cost his side a goal in their FA Cup exit on Teesside

Sam France

Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal was gracious in defeat after seeing his side crash out of the FA Cup at Middlesbrough, but said he didn't think his side deserved to lose.

Grant LeadbitterAlvaro Negredo and Marten de Roon scored in the second half to give a scoreline which suggested domination from the home side, but for the first hour the game had been even - if uneventful.

Boro's second goal came as a result of a mistake from stand-in goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith, the keeper launching his clearance straight into the onrushing forward Negredo and into the net.

"I don't think it was a difficult game," Carvalhal said in his post-match press conference. "We played our game, we moved the ball, we controlled the game. I'm happy with my players, the way they played against a Premier League team.

"When you win the ball, it is not easy to move it fast against Boro because all the time they are balanced, they don't give chances to counter attack against any team."

'We tried everything, with five attackers'

Carvalhal was happy to admit that he was disappointed with the resounding scoreline, but refused to lay blame for the defeat with any of his players individually.

"I am unhappy with the score, of course, but we lose together and we win together. I don't put the responsibility with any one player, because it is a team game.

"It wasn't because we didn't try, because we didn't put in the energy or play our football. We blocked Boro's attack very well, they didn't have too many chances in the game. When we put on McManaman to try and win the game, we played the game with four attackers at 0-0. 

"We must give congratulations to Middlesbrough but I am not unhappy. It was not because we did not try or did not play, we finished the game with five attackers and we tried everything, so I don't have anything against my players."

"I don't want to talk too much about it [Wildsmith's error]. This is teamwork, all the players have responsibility and I will never put all the responsibility on one player. We lose together."

'We weren't the worse team today'

The Portuguese was asked if he thought that an early exit from the cup could be a boost for Wednesday's Championship promotion hopes, but he was quick to dismiss any notion that he was happy to be out.

"We never think [that losing would be beneficial]," he continued. "We try to win games. We put on McManaman and we started the second half very well, we played most of the time in the offensive half. We tried to score.

"We knew that if Middlesbrough scored first, it would be very tough the same way that if we had scored first, it would have been very tough for Middlesbrough also.

"We tried everything, but we go out of the cup against a Premier League team in their stadium. In the 96 minutes, I think that we weren't worse than Middlesbrough in this game."