Carlos Carvalhal is adamant the Fernando Forestieri saga has not distracted his Sheffield Wednesday side ahead of tonight’s clash at Burton Albion.
orestieri refused to play against Norwich City last weekend and had to be persuaded to start the Owls’ Championship opener with Aston Villa the previous week.
The little forward bagged a late winner versus Villa, although his celebrations were rather subdued.
Carvalhal claimed Forestieri was “not in the right frame of mind to play” at Carrow Road, with Derby County and Newcastle United having expressed an interest in his services. It is believed the Rams had a £7m offer knocked back for the 26-year-old last week. Carvalhal insists none of his first-team squad are available for transfer.
Forestieri, who plundered 15 goals last campaign, apologised to Carvalhal, the coaching staff and teammates for his actions yesterday.
Carvalhal has revealed Forestieri has been fined but refused to confirm whether he will feature against the Brewers.
When asked whether the affair has provided an unwelcome sideshow, the Portuguese head coach told The Star: “I’m the coach of Sheffield Wednesday. It is a big club. It has been around for more than 100 years.
“A lot of players and coaches have played here and all the time in all situations the club is and always will be a fantastic club.
“It is not depending on one player or a coach. We are one: the players, the coaches, the fans and the chairman.”
In a statement posted on Twitter, Forestieri has moved to clarify his future, saying: “There are a lot of rumours and opinions going around that have been blown out of proportion and are upsetting.
“I just want to clarify I have never wanted to leave and have always, and still do, want to play for Sheffield Wednesday. I apologise for my behaviour and know there is no excuse. I hope we can move on so I can focus only on my passion.”
Having trained on his own on Sunday, Forestieri joined in with the full squad yesterday after issuing an apology. Midfielder Barry Bannan refused to be drawn on what was said on the training ground, insisting that conversation will remain private.
“Players have to accept the consequences of their behaviour,” stressed Carvalhal. “It doesn’t mean we kill someone. Fernando apologised to the group and to my staff and he is back in training. He has a three-year contract and, if he has a contract, he must stay.
“He knows his behaviour was not correct. You can’t miss work. You don’t have any reason to miss one game.
“I’m happy Fernando has apologised and understands he made a mistake.”
Carvalhal said he doesn’t feel let down by Forestieri’s actions, insisting: “If one player doesn’t play or another plays, you will never see me crying or complaining that we didn’t win the game because we didn’t have this or that player. I prefer to focus on the things that I can control. Between Norwich and now, Fernando has apologised to the group and the staff. That’s what I know.”
He added: “There is only one person who can decide if a player stays for the length of his contract and that is the chairman. So if the chairman decides he won’t sell any player, I don’t know why there is any subject about this.
“I am a professional coach and deal with professionals. They are under contact and must train very well. If they do then I must decide if they deserve to play. If they don’t train well or do what we want, then they don’t play.”
When quizzed on whether a line has been drawn under the matter, Carvalhal replied: “The disciplinary process is not related to me. It is not in my hands.”
Bannan has given his support to Forestieri, saying: “Everyone knows what he is about and he is one of our best players and he has been brilliant for this club and we want him in this team playing as he is one of the best parts of this team. That is what everybody wants for this club really.”