Carlos Carvalhal says Sheffield Wednesday fans should be preparing themselves to see the return of the Fernando Forestieri that wowed the Owls crowds last season.
The forward has yet to reach the heights of last term when he became the club’s leading goalscorer and this season has appeared to be struggling with the fall-out from that dispute at the early part of the campaign when he refused to play against Norwich City.
However, during the international break, Carvalhal says he has seen signs of a different Forestieri, one more like the player that rocketed Wedneaday to the play-offs, with the head coach proclaiming that ‘we have Fernando back again’.
“Let me tell you about Fernando,” said Carvalhal ahead of Saturday’s trip to Fulham.
“I think we have Fernando back again, really back again.
“This week, two weeks, but especially this week, he has been very, very strong, very powerful, with fantastic attitude and I am sure if he expresses, and he will express on Saturday, what he is doing these two weeks we will be with better Fernando again.
“I am very happy about that of course, all of us because we are waiting for the best of Fernando because in reality he is back 100% to the Fernando of the big days at Sheffield Wednesday.”
Carvalhal admitted Forestieri is not the only one struggling to show last season’s worth, but the Portuguese is confident those under-performing will hit their best.
“It is not just Fernando who hasn’t performed 100% yet,” he said. “There are more players that we expect more from, they will do more in the future because we know that from last season.”
“We know that they can do better. They will show more. It is not just Fernando, to talk about him, we must talk about three or four more.
“They are working hard for the team so I am happy with them but their individual performance, they can do better and they will do better, I’m absolutely sure.
“When they find the maximum we will be more strong and we need this.
I talk about Fernando because I felt this week that he is back again, ‘I am here again with the maximum’.
“I don’t want to put any pressure on any player, they are the first to want to do the best.”
Forestieri’s last goal for Wednesday came immediately after the last international break, when the Owls beat Huddersfield 1-0 at the John Smith’s Stadium last month. He has scored just three times this season, having scored 15 altogether last term.