Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal says he was not surprised to see Vincent Sasso bag a first half brace in their battling victory over 10-man Blackburn Rovers.
The Frenchman’s first goals in English football secured Wednesday’s third consecutive Championship victory. Sasso deputised for the injured Tom Lees for the third match running at centre-half.
Carvalhal, who dropped top-scorer Fernando Forestieri to the bench, said his coaching staff had joked with him about the centre-back’s attacking prowess in training in recent weeks.
“I know Sasso very well,” he said.
“He is a threat to score goals. He thinks like a striker sometimes.
“But the reality was he wasn’t scoring (in training) and sometimes I was joking with my staff ‘Where is Sasso and where is your striker?’
“But I know Sasso very well and the surprise to me is that he hasn’t scored in the past.”
Victory extended Wednesday’s unbeaten home run to seven matches and puts them four points clear of seventh-placed Norwich City with a game in hand.
Blackburn, who have been in the relegation zone since December, had Hope Akpan sent off after he appeared to lay his hands on referee Scott Duncan for disallowing his goal in the dying minutes.
“Blackburn were fighting for their lives and are near the bottom,” said Carvalhal, who declined to comment on Akpan’s dismissal.
“They made the game very physical.
“There were a lot of long balls and pressing.
“We achieved the three points. I think we would have drawn or lost a game like that last season. We played efficient and won.
“We achieved the six points from the Birmingham and Blackburn matches, which is important.
“Nottingham Forest will play completely different. They are not so physical. They play different football.”