Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk slams Fernando Forestieri's fitness levels after his exclusion from late draw against Nottingham Forest
Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk gave an honest assessment of the commitment of Fernando Forestieri after he left the forward out of the Owls squad for their dramatic 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest.
In what was the Owls curtain raiser to the season restart after three months away from football at Hillsborough, Monk’s side offered a committed and confident performance for the most part, setting up in a 3-5-2 system the manager said may well be a common feature of their outings going forward.
The Wednesday boss admitted Connor Wickham’s 92nd-minute equaliser could well be a huge moment in their season but maintained it was all his side deserved from a match they dominated for large periods.
Monk was able to name nine substitutes for the clash in-line with FIFA’s new laws, allowing five changes to be made, but there was no place for Forestieri, whose contract with the club is set to run out at the ed of the month.
Asked the reasons behind his surprise exclusion, Monk held little back: “The decision today for that one was around fitness,” he told The Star. “It’s the main part of what we’re facing in the next few weeks and there’s going to be a big emphasis for us. It’s about getting through those 90 minutes and not breaking down.
“Fernando came behind the whole group, he’s been playing catch-up ever since and that’s the reason he wasn’t in the squad today.
“Others have come in a lot fitter and they were more ready, that’s the reason behind the decision today.”
Atdhe Nuhiu was another exclusion, which Monk said was not down to fitness. He said he thought Kadeem Harris should have had a penalty after he went down in the box late on and that his players coped well with the system change.He said: “We’ve had such a short period to work in to get used to the sort of systems and formations we might need. To take that information on board and cram it in, to go and have the best of large periods of that game, they deserve huge credit for that.”