Leading marksman Fernando Forestieri has been backed to play a major role in Sheffield Wednesday’s play-off campaign.
Forestieri made little impact in the first instalment of the Owls’ all-Yorkshire play-off semi-final with Huddersfield Town on Sunday. By his high standards, the 12-goal attacker was quiet, with Terriers centre-backs Christopher Schindler and Michael Hefele nullifying his threat.
It was Forestieri’s first start in over two months and he was withdrawn after 73 minutes.
Forestieri has largely been used as a substitute since recovering from a knee injury.
Head coach Carlos Carvalhal told The Star: “We have protected Fernando.
“He is doing better and better.
“He played okay against Huddersfield. He had a good game and we are happy with him and all the attackers.
“Fernando is a player who in one second can solve a game.”
Carvalhal said he was particularly pleased with Forestieri’s contribution without the ball.
“He played like a team worker against Huddersfield,” he said. “He worked a lot for the team and this is the main point. He fought a lot and blocked the opponents.”
It is not beyond the realms of possibility Carvalhal will rotate his forwards for the return leg at a sold-out Hillsborough tomorrow night. Winnall and Jordan Rhodes staked their claims for first-team recalls with lively cameos off the bench.
Carvalhal could also freshen up his midfield, with Sam Hutchinson (knee) expected to be available for selection.
“He trained (on Saturday). but with a small pain under the knee,” he said. “I believe he will recover for Wednesday.”