Sheffield Wednesday: How Carlos' Carvalhal's clever man-management through media brought out the best in Fernando Forestieri and Gary Hooper

Gary Hooper congratulates Fernando Forestieri on his winning goal at Huddersfield
Gary Hooper congratulates Fernando Forestieri on his winning goal at Huddersfield
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When the subject of Fernando Forestieri's current form arose in the pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday's match against Huddersfield Town, Carlos Carvalhal spoke like a man who wanted to get something off his chest.

He wasn't bothered about the fact it kept being brought up; Carvalhal recognises that a player who last season produced the types of performances that marked him out as one of the best players in the Championship, not at his best is worthy of discussion. He also realises that, given what happened at the beginning of the season, whether it's true or not, it's very easy to draw a line of correlation between the failure to reach last term's heights and the fact that he appeared to be wanting to leave the club earlier in the season.

Regardless, the head coach set about a different tactic to try and eek more from his star player, and indeed players as Gary Hooper, too, was brought into the mix.

Hooper hasn't been playing badly as such, he, like others, just hasn't been as good as he was at times last year.

You can bet that Carvalhal will have been spending that period during the international break telling those two just how good they are.

MORE: FIVE things we learned from Sheffield Wednesday's win over Huddersfield Town

Job done from Carlos Carvalhal

Job done from Carlos Carvalhal

However, telling them to their faces is one thing; telling the rest of the footballing world is another matter.

Carvalhal said in the press conference that Forestieri's problems were all in his head, that once he rids himself of the baggage of what he called 'the incident' he would be back to his best,

Similarly, the Portuguese said that Hooper just hadn't clicked and that when he does, the rest of the team will benefit.

“With these kinds of things, sometimes one goal and something he can do good can change everything for the future,” said 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.”

That was Carvalhal's way of telling everyone just how important Forestieri and Hooper and more importantly making sure the players know it. Few things motivate a footballer more than being publically praised.

What happened, then, on Sunday? The pair turned in their best performances of the campaign so far. Hooper was immense and while he lacked a goal, his tactical discipline pushed to the fore a side to him often disregarded. And Forestieri, well his performance deserved a goal and though it came via a penalty, there was no doubting he was worth it.

It's just another example of Carvalhal's superb man-management, which this season and last has had players queuing up to praise him.

He's taking a little bit of stick for how he has set his team up this year but in this department, he's up there with the best.