Sheffield Wednesday boss to test strength of squad

Owls' Fernando Forestieri.
Owls' Fernando Forestieri.
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CARLOS CARVALHAL plans to utilise his Sheffield Wednesday squad to the full this week to cope with the demands of two games in around 70 hours.

The Owls travel to Newcastle United tomorrow night in the Capital One Cup and then make the long trip to west London to take on Brentford on Saturday.

With Wednesday having played three games in the space of eight days last week, it is a tough schedule and one Carvalhal plans to ease by rotating his squad.

The Portyguese said: “We need players who can play 120 minutes. The match on Wednesday will finish late. We won’t get home until 2-3am on Thursday. We then have to travel to Brentford so we have a short time.

“There are a lot of things I have to consider. It is not a question of rotation. It is a question of managing the health of the players.

“We will try to put 11 players on the pitch tomorrow with 100 per cent energy, who are ready to play, fight in the game and give their maximum.”

Fernando Forestieri is one of the starting XI from the weekend win over Fulham who must drop out due to having already played in the competition for Watford.

But the Italian, who has a hamstring strain anyway, is set to be one of several changes by Carvalhal at St James’ Park.

The Owls head coach added: “Fernando is out of this game. He can’t play. We will see about Saturday. We don’t know yet if he can play.

“He hasn’t played a lot of football. He played well in the first match but came down in the second. All the players that we bring are in the same condition.

“Barry Bannan hadn’t played a match in eight weeks before coming to Sheffield Wednesday. It is the same with Pudil and possibly Michael Turner.”

Carvalhal, who declined to discuss speculation over Danny Graham possibly being about to join the Owls, is hoping to plot an upset against one of the Premier League strugglers.

Newcastle are yet to win in the league under new manager Steve McClaren since his switch from Derby County in the summer.

The Wednesday chief added: “They have a very good coach and squad. They are not working so well but these things sometimes happen in football.”