09 Mar Revenge not on the agenda for Carvalhal
Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal insists revenge is not on his mind ahead of a Premier League reunion with Huddersfield counterpart David Wagner.
Carvalhal suffered shoot-out agony in the Championship play-offs last season as Sheffield Wednesday manager.
Huddersfield booked a Wembley final date, and eventually a spot in the top flight, and it was the beginning of the end for Carvalhal at Hillsborough.
The Portuguese left Wednesday on Christmas Eve but he was appointed Swansea manager four days later and has since steered the Welsh club off the bottom of the table and three points clear of the relegation zone.
“I am not this kind of person,” Carvalhal said, when asked if the sight of Wagner in the opposite dugout at Huddersfield on Saturday would provide extra motivation.
“I don’t keep things with me to have revenge on someone.
“It is important for us and we will try to win like we did before, so there is nothing different.”
Carvalhal could be forgiven for having pangs of jealousy as Huddersfield took their place at the top table of English football in August.
After all, Carvalhal had not lost to Wagner in six Championship and play-off games – winning four and drawing two.
But the shoot-out heroics of loan goalkeeper Danny Ward sent Huddersfield to Wembley and destroyed Carvalhal’s dream of taking the Owls into the Premier League.
“This is football,” Carvalhal said. “We gave our best and it was a question of luck when it came to penalties.
“The luck went to the other side, but it doesn’t make me or my staff better or worse coaches because we lose a semi-final on penalties. This is a very skinny line.
“But there is no jealousy. Nothing. Zero.
“I didn’t look at the Premier League at the start of the season because in this period I was in Sheffield Wednesday.
“I didn’t think about them – I don’t look to the side and the neighbours – but now I am focused on Huddersfield this week.”
Swansea have taken 17 points from Carvalhal’s nine league games to climb into 13th position, and above Huddersfield on goal difference.
Huddersfield have done better than many predicted, but Carvalhal insists the gap between the top of the Championship and the bottom half of the Premier League is not as big as some suggest.
He said: “Huddersfield do not surprise me because they play with quality and deserve to be here.
“The promoted teams have done well in recent years and shown they can stay in the competition because the Championship has a very high quality.
“It is a harder competition than the Premier League because you must be ready for a lot of things.
“The difference can be in the quality of the players in one team or another, but the collective organisation of teams in the Championship is strong.”