Sheffield Wednesday: ‘Team worker’ Lucas Joao gives Owls extra dimension

Lucas Joao

Lucas Joao

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He is an athletic striker capable of causing any Championship defence problems with his pace and power.

For Lucas Joao to push on in his career, the key now is for him to improve his decision-making and add consistency to his game.

It was a big call by Carlos Carvalhal to hand the Portugal international his first start in almost three months at Wolverhampton Wanderers but Joao didn’t let his boss down. He dovetailed effectively with man of the match Fernando Forestieri throughout and was always prepared to run the channels and stretch the play.

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Some people were concerned how Wednesday would cope without Gary Hooper, who faces a month to six weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring problem suffered at Fulham, but Joao stepped in and put in a dynamic performance. He worked tirelessly and kept his composure superbly to set up Kieran Lee for the crucial second goal.

Carvalhal said: “Lucas did well. He hadn’t played in a long time but he’s a team worker. He has pace and fights a lot.”

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Despite his lengthy absence, Joao was preferred to Steven Fletcher, who replaced him with 17 minutes left, and Atdhe Nuhiu up front.

“It was an option to play Lucas,” stressed Carvalhal. “I am the coach and must take decisions for the benefit of the team.

“Fletcher is a fantastic personality and professional but he worked with some limitations in training last week as he felt some problems in the Fulham game in his knee. That made it a little easier to play Lucas.

“But we know what sort of personality Fletcher is and, even if he had played five minutes, we know he would have given his maximum to support the team with the abilities he has.”

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