A relegation fight in the top tier of English football is alien territory for Carvalhal. He has come a long way since dragging Portugal's third-tier side Leixoes into the Uefa Cup, and even after his play-off flirtations at Sheffield Wednesday, this job was seen by most as a free shot at the top flight.
Carvalhal, however, insists that is not the case.
"I have a lot to lose. My credibility — my career. My career route hasn't been easy. I came from the third division in Portugal to the Premier League. Nobody gave me anything so I had something to lose. I accepted the challenge.
"It's not just a question of belief. I talk a lot to the priest, so can the priest do the job? I am lucky the players are following my ideas."