Sheffield Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal says Fernando Forestieri’s current lack of form is a mental issue only the striker can fix.
Last season’s top goalscorer has struggled so far this term, coming off the back of a dispute at the beginning of the campaign in which Forestieri refused to join the squad for their match against Norwich City in August.
That incident arrived amid reported interest from other clubs.
The forward was then convinced that his future lay at Hillsborough and he was welcomed back into the team soon after.
However, Forestieri, after a strong pre-season and a winning goal on the opening day against Aston Villa, has failed to reach the high standards of play he himself set previously, with just one further goal arriving against Wigan on September 10.
Ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Championship league leaders Huddersfield Town, Carvalhal insists Forestieri is still the quality player he always was, however the coach believes his player must overcome the hangover from that earlier dispute.
“Fernando hasn’t lost his abilities but we saw before that incident, in six games he had scored five goals, after the incident he scored one goal,” said Carvalhal.
“I think it is something Fernando must manage in his head and he must move something.
“It is not a question of attitude, it is a not a question of what he wants, he is trying all the time but he must manage something in the head.
“The colleagues, we like him, the fans like him, we are here to support him, but we are waiting for him, that is a reality but I hope that soon he can come with absolute abilities that he has and put all the abilities that he has on the pitch.”
“It is not a question of attitude but a question probably of something in the mind that he must change.”
Carvalhal also believes that a breakthrough in front of goal could be just what he needs to turn his so far difficult season around - and he is not alone.
“With these kinds of things, sometimes one goal and something he can do good can change everything for the future,” added Carvalhal. “Gary Hooper is the same, we are waiting for the best of Gary, He has shown the signs but he hasn’t yet clicked.
“We know the player since last season that when he clicks he will jump to another level. They are two very important players for us that we are waiting to click because the abilities they have, the environment they have, so they are trying and working but they must upgrade their performance and when they click it make a big difference to the season.”