Versatility of Forestieri can give Sheffield Wednesday welcome options

VERSATILE: Sheffield Wednesday's Fernando Forestieri, right. Picture: Tony Johnson.
VERSATILE: Sheffield Wednesday's Fernando Forestieri, right. Picture: Tony Johnson.
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HEAD COACH Carlos Carvalhal has dropped a broad hint that Fernando Forestieri could be utilised more on the left flank this term as his Sheffield Wednesday side look to make it third time lucky in their attempts to reach the Premier League under the Portuguese.

The Owls, beaten in the play-offs during each of the past two seasons, travel to Mansfield Town today for their second pre-season outing.

Sheffield wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal. Picture: Steve Ellis

Sheffield wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal. Picture: Steve Ellis

Forestieri was one of several players to miss Tuesday night’s 5-0 win at Alfreton Town, but the Argentinian could feature against Steve Evans’s Stags if he recovers from a niggling hamstring injury.

Asked about the make-up of the Hillsborough squad amid attempts to bring in two central defenders, Carvalhal said: “We have Ross (Wallace) and (George) Boyd on the right, on the left we have (Adam) Reach, Marco (Matias) and Fernando. We have been training more with Fernando on the left.

“He can play in attack, but he has been playing on the left. So far, we don’t feel we need (to recruit any more wingers). We also have five players for two places in the centre (of midfield) – Kieran Lee, (David) Jones, Sam (Hutchinson), (Barry) Bannan and (Almen) Abdi. Boyd arriving means we won’t play Bannan and Kieran much on the sides.

“But let’s see at the end of the transfer window. First, let’s bring in the priorities. After that, we will think about other positions. Let’s see the pre-season games first.”

He is a player who can play very well in the centre and on the left. So far, he has been training all week on the left and doing very well.

Carlos Carvalhal on Fernando Forestieri

Pressed on the likely role of last season’s top scorer in the coming season, Carvalhal added: “If you remember, when I put Fernando on the left there was a lot of criticism. People saying, ‘he must play in the centre’. Then, when I played him in the centre, they say he should be on the left.

“It is very strange. But I think he is a player who can play very well in the centre and on the left. So far, he has been training all week on the left and doing very well.

“It is an option for him to play more on the left, but if we need him in the centre then he will do okay, for sure. Fernando is happy to play anywhere.”