Marco Matias has twice been forced to adapt to life at Sheffield Wednesday, Carlos Carvalhal has revealed.
But the Portuguese head coach insists he has been delighted with the progress of his compatriot since his return from injury.
The Wednesday team Matias played in after his summer move from Nacional was very different from the one he returned to in late January following a lengthy spell out with a hernia issue.
At Brighton on Tuesday Matias started his first league game in more than five months and showed the same flashes of quality he did before his injury.
“When we started the season we were playing 4-3-3 and he played on the left hand side,” Carvalhal told The Star.
“We changed the system when we received more players and then he had his problem. He had surgery and stayed out of the team a long, long time.
“When he came back for training, we played 4-4-2 and he had to adapt.
“It’s a completely different role to 4-3-3. But he has been training well and deserved to play.”
Carvalhal explained playing as a winger in a 4-4-2 system involves much more defending than as a forward in a 4-3-3, a system which Matias was used to at Nacional.
The 26-year-old netted 21 times in 42 games, prompting Wednesday to pay in excess of £1m for his services last July.
Carvalhal said Matias is evolving into a more rounded player with his experience at Hillsborough.
He said: “When you play 4-3-3 you have more support from the midfielders.
“You don’t need to defend as much because you have the three midfielders supporting you.
“When you play 4-4-2 it is completely different. The defensive role is more specific. You must close the spaces out wide and press the opponent’s full back. You can’t open easy spaces of the opponents.”
Matias is pushing to start again this afternoon when Wednesday visit Nottingham Forest.