Why Fernando Forestieri missed Sheffield Wednesday's defeat at Millwall

Forward Fernando Forestieri was left out of the Owls' defeat at Millwall for tactical reasons, caretaker manager Lee Bullen has revealed.

Saturday, 17th August 2019, 13:43 pm
Updated Sunday, 18th August 2019, 22:06 pm

The 29-year-old, who has featured just once in the opening three fixtures, missed Wednesday's 1-0 loss at The Den, with Bullen opting to select strikers Jordan Rhodes and Atdhe Nuhiu on the bench. Rhodes, a second-half substitute for Kieran Lee, headed wide from a corner late on as the Owls lost their 100 per cent record.

On Forestieri's absence, Bullen said: "Fernando picked up a knock on his thigh earlier in the week so didn't train until Friday but that wasn't the reason behind it.

"I knew Millwall would be a big physical test and that was the reason for maybe selecting Dom [Dominic Iorfa] to start ahead of Mo [Moses Odubajo] and obviously having big Atdhe [Atdhe Nuhiu] on the bench if we needed to chuck him on.

Owls forward Fernando Forestieri was not involved against Millwall

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"I really felt that we were going to have to maybe defend a lead rather than chase a lead so I went with Jordan [Rhodes] and Atdhe on the bench.

"But Fernando will be in our thoughts for Tuesday night and we will see where we go from there."

Argentina-born Forestieri is still awaiting the outcome to his Football Association appeal. The governing body's independent regulatory commission found Forestieri guilty last month of using racist language towards Mansfield Town defender Krystian Pearce in a pre-season friendly at the One Call Stadium in July 2018.

Although Forestieri was acquitted of criminal charges by Mansfield Magistrates' Court in March, the FA ruled the case against him was sufficient to proceed and slapped him with a six-match ban and £25,000 fine.

However, Forestieri is still eligible to play pending the outcome of his appeal.