Sheffield Wednesday: Carlos confident Gary Hooper will lead the line at Derby

Gary Hooper and Carlos Carvalhal
Gary Hooper and Carlos Carvalhal
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Owls head coach Carlos Carvalhal is optimistic Gary Hooper will spearhead their forward line when they travel to promotion rivals Derby County this weekend.

Hooper’s partner is expected to give birth to their child in the next 48 hours. The 11-goal forward returned to Wednesday’s starting line-up in Tuesday’s goalless draw with MK Dons, having shrugged off a foot problem.

Speaking at his press briefing today, Carvalhal said: “Gary will be okay. He is with us no problem.”

The Portuguese chief has outlined his reasons for cutting Jeremy Helan’s loan spell at Wolverhampton Wanderers shot. Left-sided player Helan was due to remain at Molineux until the end of the season.

“We recall him because we have a problem with Joe Bennett,” said Carvalhal. “We don’t know how long he will stay out.

“We are happy to receive Jeremy. He belongs to us and we believe he can give something to the team if he is needed.”

Ross Wallace will miss the trip to the iPro Stadium following his sending off in midweek. The winger is set to serve a three-match suspension and Carvalhal had no complaints over the decision.

Wednesday, occupying the final play-off position, will lock horns with a Derby side chasing a fifth successive Championship victory on Saturday, kick-off12:30pm.

Carvalhal said: “Derby will be a tough game. They are in a good moment. They have won their last four games. They are scoring goals. We are similar teams.

“We have had chances to win the last two games. We had a lot of chances to score goals. We are together and are here to fight. We gave a very strong reaction against Ipswich. I felt we deserved to win. We were unlucky.

“We created a lot of chances against MK Dons and hit the woodwork four times. We were disappointed with the result. I was upset about the score but I was happy with the performance and attitude of our players.”