What new Sheffield Wednesday chief Garry Monk expects from Fernando Forestieri

Newly-appointed Owls boss Garry Monk is demanding forward Fernando Forestieri be ready to make an impact - as soon as he has completed his lengthy suspension.

Friday, 13th September 2019, 11:38 am
Updated Friday, 13th September 2019, 21:14 pm

Earlier this month, Forestieri lost his appeal against a Football Association charge for allegedly using racist language towards Mansfield Town's Krystian Pearce in a pre-season friendly in July 2018.

It means the 29-year-old is unavailable for Wednesday’s next six matches, starting away to Huddersfield Town on Sunday.

Monk told The Star: "It is what it is. These things happen. There is nothing you can do about it.

Owls star Fernando Forestieri

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"What you have to be is focused and ready to move on and for him to be ready when is out of that suspension.

"In the meantime, we will be working with him and making sure he is fit and that he gets even fitter so that when the suspension is up he is ready to contribute.

"There will be chats involved but that's your job as a manager to manage all players through difficult periods as well, not just the good times, and try and help to get the best out of them."

Forestieri has only made one start this term - he won a first half penalty in Wednesday's home defeat to Queens Park Rangers before the first international break.

But the Argentine-born player will be absent for Huddersfield, the Championship visit of Fulham, a Carabao Cup tie at home to Premier League side Everton plus further league fixtures against Middlesbrough, Hull City and Wigan Athletic. The next time Forestieri will be available to play will be the trip to Cardiff City on Friday, October 18.

But Monk believes Forestieri could potentially benefit from a period of inactivity.

"There is a programme in place and he will follow that to make sure we can maintain him at the highest possible fitness level," said Monk, who recently replaced Steve Bruce at the helm.

"There is also an opportunity to work on things you can't often do with players when they are playing games and games in terms of strengths and conditioning.

"It is a good period that we will use to build his fitness up so that's what we will look to do."