Toughen up Joao, says Carvalhal

Owls Lucas Joao celebrates his late winning goal
Owls Lucas Joao celebrates his late winning goal
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Powerful striker Lucas Joao has been urged to shed his “sweet boy” image in Wednesday’s quest to compete in the upper echelons of the Championship.

The Angolan forward claimed a dramatic late winner against Brentford on Saturday, having come on as a second half replacement for Marco Matias.

Joao coolly stroked in his second goal in Owls colours to clinch the team’s third successive victory. But head coach Carlos Carvalhal reckons there is more to come from the 22-year-old.

“He [Lucas] is a boy who has never played at this level before,” said Carvalhal. “He is learning. He showed good signs against Fulham and Newcastle that he was ready.

“He is a sweet boy but he must understand that he must be more angry with defences and aggressive. He is learning and is a very smart guy. He is a boy with a very big future.”

Wednesday went ahead through an Atdhe Nuhiu penalty. Both sides were reduced to 10 men and it appeared the Owls would have to settle for a point when Alan Judge curled in a right foot shot only for Joao to have the final say.

Carvalhal expressed his delight over Joao ending his seven-match goal drought, saying: “When he has that sort of space, we know he can score in these situations. I’m very happy for him. He could have scored another one but the goalkeeper made a good save. It was fantastic for Lucas to score and is good for his confidence.”

Left-back Daniel Pudil is receiving treatment from Wednesday’s medical team, having picked up a knock in the first half. Jeremy Helan, his replacement, was sent off for two bookable offences.

Fernando Forestieri also missed the trip to the capital, but the Owls remain optimistic he will be ready for Saturday’s clash at home to Preston North End.