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World Cup 2018

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Carvalhal to ring the changes again as he focuses on League survival

By Ed Elliott

Carlos Carvalhal insists he will not risk Swansea's Premier League status for FA Cup glory.

Carvalhal has extra motivation in the fifth round of the FA Cup today as he makes a swift return to Sheffield Wednesday - the club where he spent two-and-a-half-years before departing on Christmas Eve.

Victory would also secure Swansea's first quarter-final in the competition since 1964, but manager Carvalhal has promised to rest several first-team regulars ahead of key relegation battles in the Premier League.

"We won't take any risks and there will be changes because I will protect some players, I'm absolutely sure about that." Carvalhal said.

"Ask me to stay in the Premier League or win the cup, and I say Premier League because it is more important to the club.

"I was at Wembley with Sheffield Wednesday (in the 2016 Championship play-off final) and I loved it, I want to go back there in my career.

"But I am not selfish because I understand the priority of the club - and that is to stay in the Premier League."

Carvalhal rotated his squad in previous rounds against Wolves and Notts County.

Swansea still had enough to win those ties, albeit after replays, and cup progress has come alongside excellent league form with the Swans climbing out of the bottom three after taking 14 points from 21.

But looking ahead to his return to Hillsborough he said: "We are underdogs there, not because we are worse than our opponents but because we are outside our main competition which we are completely focused on."

Belfast Telegraph

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