Sheffield Wednesday: Carlos Carvalhal waits and hopes for Fernando Forestieri to come good

Fernando Forestieri
Fernando Forestieri
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Carlos Carvalhal, the Owls head coach, hopes Fernando Forestieri will rediscover his scoring touch sooner rather than later to reignite the club’s stuttering promotion push.

Forestieri dropped to the substitutes bench for Saturday’s dismal Hillsborough defeat to midtable Ipswich Town.

Carlos Carvalhal

Carlos Carvalhal

The talented foward has struggled to hit top form this campaign, finding the back of the net just three times, with Carvalhal pairing Steven Fletcher and Gary Hooper up front.

Forestieri was introduced as a second-half sub but last season’s top scorer failed to provide a spark as Wednesday crashed to a third home loss.

Carvalhal felt Forestieri, could make a big contribution as a sub.

“We tried a different situation,” said the Portuguese chief, who also handed first-team recalls to Keiren Westwood and Jack Hunt.

“We are not scoring goals so we tried Gary Hooper with Fletcher, understanding that Fernando could come on and give us extra energy.

“He has done this in the past and affected games. It was not the case against Ipswich but he has done well in the past.

“We are doing our best in training to push Fernando and give him confidence but it is something which depends on him. It is not just the coaches, the staff and the colleagues.

“All I can do is try my best to give confidence to him and all the players. I give them the conditions to play.”

It was the fifth time during the 2016/17 season Forestieri had started on the bench.

The former Watford man played an integral part in Wednesday reaching the Championship Play-off Final last May but he has been below par by his high standards ever since he refused to play against Norwich City back in August amid speculation linking him with a move away from Hillsborough.

Carvalhal said: “I don’t want to put all the responsibility on one player when we lose game.

“All of us didn’t perform well. It is me and my players. I have a big responsibility as I’m the manager.

“I must accept that we didn’t perform at our level and I hope that will be an exception.

“We were lacking energy and hit a wall. We must be more dynamic and have a different attitude.”

For more news from Hillsborough click here