SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY caretaker manager Lee Bullen insists that Fernando Forestieri has a major part to play for the Owls this season.
Back on July 31, the Argentine forward was banned for six matches by the Football Association’s independent regulatory commission and fined £25,000 after being found guilty of using racist language towards Mansfield Town defender Krystian Pearce in a pre-season friendly in July 2018 – which sparked a brawl.
Forestieri, left ‘devastated and disappointed’ at the development, is in the process of appealing against the decision and had been available for selection pending the outcome.
But the 29-year-old is yet to make a league start this season with Bullen conscious of not putting too much mental strain upon him at a delicate time.
Bullen said: “Fernando is still a massive part of the club – and he is available for selection.
“He has had his ups and downs with the ongoing issues away from the football side of things, so we have had to be mindful of that.
He has had his ups and downs with the ongoing issues away from the football side of things, so we have had to be mindful of that.Lee Bullen
“When the news came through and initially, he felt really down and disappointed with what happened. He was really upset, so we had to manage that situation and make sure he was right. There have been times where we thought his mental state of mind was not right, so we have had to be careful with that.”
Despite using Forestieri sparingly this term, Bullen believes that the forward remains a real trump card in the club’s push for the top six if he is successfully managed.
The Scot said: “Fernando is an ‘X-factor’ player. When he is on it, he is a Premier League player.”
Owls preview: Page 4