Sheffield Wednesday: 'We want Fernando Forestieri at his best' - Garry Monk looks to help Owls star reignite his career
Garry Monk, the Sheffield Wednesday boss, wants to help Fernando Forestieri get his career back on track.
Forestieri has struggled for consistency over the last two years as the Owls have finished mid-table in the Championship.
The Argentine-born forward, an influential figure in the Wednesday side that reached successive play-offs in his first two seasons at Hillsborough under Carlos Carvalhal, has been hampered by injuries and disciplinary problems.
The 29-year-old, who has started just one match this term, is currently serving a six-match Football Association suspension for using racist language in a pre-season friendly in 2018 and will miss Saturday's visit of Fulham.
"Just before I came, he was given some time off to clear his mind about what happened," confirmed Monk. "Now he has been in since last week (training). The difficulty is he is not able to play games. The clear objective is he is fully conditioned, as strong as we can get him.
"That’s also down to the attitude and commitment of the player.
"I have spoke to Fernando, and we all know what type of player he is and what he can bring to us.
"But for him to be able to really deliver that, he needs to be in a condition to do it. He understands that, and it’s for us to work with him to make sure we can push him.
"But it will come down to the player, it’s quite unusual for a player to have this type of period out, and important he uses that time wisely.
"We have given him a programme that he needs, but it always comes down to the player’s attitude towards that. So far he has shown a really good attitude and understands he needs to do the work."
As well as Fulham, Forestieri will miss the Carabao Cup tie at home to Premier League side Everton next week and further league fixtures against Middlesbrough, Hull City and Wigan Athletic.
Forestieri will next be available for selection when the Owls go to Cardiff City on Friday, October 18.
Monk added: "He needs to be able to put himself in contention for when he comes back, hopefully if the team are doing well, he will have to prove himself to get a place in the team.
"He knows what is expected of him, and what’s needed. I had a really good chat with him, was really clear with him, and we want Fernando Forestieri at his best."