Sheffield Wednesday: Owls chief pays tribute to hard-working striker

Atdhe Nuhiu heads in the Owls' late equaliser
Atdhe Nuhiu heads in the Owls' late equaliser
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Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal has hailed Atdhe Nuhiu, claiming the hard-working Owls striker has been “unlucky” not to have played more this season.

Nuhiu scored deep into added on time at Ipswich Town last night - just minutes after coming on off the bench to rescue a point for Carvalhal’s side.

You have to go back to New Year’s Eve for the last time Nuhiu started a match for Wednesday. The 28-year-old has appeared five times as a substitute in the 2017/18 campaign.

Carvalhal told The Star: “I was happy Atdhe scored. He’s a very good personality and a hard worker. Everybody likes him in the club and it was great he scored.”

Nuhiu was preferred in the matchday squad to Portugal international Lucas Joao.

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Carlos Carvalhal

Carlos Carvalhal

“Sometimes I think he has been a little unlucky,” said Carvalhal. “I must tell you that the injury to [Fernando] Forestieri was bad for Atdhe.

“When we have a player like Forestieri, we have a player who has pace and can dribble in a one-on-one (situations). When you have a player like him in your squad, you can be with a player like Atdhe on the bench to help the team.

“When you don’t have a player like Forestieri (available), you need some players with pace and when we have to choose between Lucas {Joao] and Nuhiu we sometimes prefer Lucas as he has the pace that Forestieri has. We sometimes need that in the team.

“Against Ipswich, we felt the way that they play that pace wasn’t necessary. We studied the way Ipswich play. They don’t open things up too much.”

While Carvalhal was delighted with the character the Owls demonstrated at Portman Road to twice come from behind, he accepts the team must rectify the mistakes they made, starting at Reading tomorrow.

When quizzed on why Wednesday struggled for long periods against Ipswich, Carvalhal said: “It’s difficult to explain. I must talk with the players.

“If you have a player who in two and a half seasons with you maybe two or three bad games, it is something that we must understand. If there are players are regularly not performing well, then this is a problem.

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“We made some mistakes the other night which we usually don’t make. It was not just one player. It was more than one player. We must correct these mistakes on Saturday.

“We must play better and be more concentrated. We can’t make these mistakes. If you make these kind of mistakes in the competition, you have a big problem.

“Some players had a bad day. It is something that can happen. We are frustrated because we wanted to win the three points.

“They are experienced (players). I don’t think it was nerves. I think it was a bad day. Some players performed well so there was some balance.

“The positive is we showed a lot of belief to keep going until the end.”

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