Sheffield Wednesday: Fernando Forestieri features in behind-closed-doors friendly as comeback looms

Fernando Forestieri’s comeback to the Sheffield Wednesday fold was stepped up this week as he featured in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Middlewood Road.

Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 3:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 5:34 pm

The Argentine-born forward will be available for action after the forthcoming international break having served a six-match FA suspension for using racist language in a pre-season friendly at Mansfield last summer.

And with his conditioning in mind, it is understood a Sheffield Wednesday XI welcomed a Chesterfield XI to their Middlewood Road training base for a tune-up match on Tuesday.

Wednesday manager Garry Monk said: “It was just an in-house game, a private game and he got a few minutes there.

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“It’s important he gets a feel for that out on the pitch now that he’s going to very soon be out of that [his suspension].

“It’s about getting him out there and improving his conditioning.”

Forestieri’s comeback – potentially in the Owls clash with Cardiff on October 18 – will be welcomed by Wednesday fans, who have sung his name at each of the side’s matches since his suspension ruling last month.

Despite being acquitted last March at Mansfield Magistrates Court, the FA charged Forestieri in June, deeming there to be enough evidence to find the former Italy under-21 striker in breach of its own regulations. An appeal was dismissed by the FA on September 5.

Fernando Forestieri scoring against Espanyol in a friendly earlier this year.

Wednesdayites were amused by a post on Forestieri’s Instagram page on Tuesday evening that appeared to poke fun at the decision of referee Andy Davies to deny Wednesday a penalty for Eric Lichaj’s foul on Jacob Murphy.

The referee awarded a free-kick instead and the 29-year-old posted a doctored image of the incident, altering the pitch markings along with the words ‘VAR’ ‘Outside’ with a laughing emoji.