SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY chief Garry Monk is urging supporters to show patience regarding the performance levels of Fernando Forestieri - and is confident he will get sharper with more game-time.
The forward has endured a stop-start campaign at Hillsborough in a season disrupted by suspension and injuries.
Out of contract this summer, Forestieri, 30, made his return from the bench in the recent home game with Millwall - having recovered from the knee injury he sustained in late Autumn.
The striker was then handed his first senior start in almost two-and-a-half months in Saturday's derby draw against Barnsley at Oakwell - with his previous appearance from the start of a game having arrived in the 3-1 victory at Charlton Athletic on November 30.
Despite a largely quiet performance, Forestieri did show one or two glimpses of quality, more especially in the second half at Barnsley, with one wonderful chance picking out Alessio Da Cruz for a gilt-edged chance.
On Forestieri, who has netted just once for the Owls this term, Monk - whose side make the trip to another relegation-haunted side in Luton Town on Wednesday evening - said: "He has been out for a long period. It has been a stop-start season.
"He was suspended when I came in here and then he picked up that injury for quite a long period.
"He is not going to be at his sharpest, but the more minutes he gets on his pitch will help him.
"We know the quality of the players that we have and hopefully we will see an improvement the more minutes they get."
The Owls are winless in their past four Championship matches and have won just once at league level in their last eight games since Christmas in a disappointing New Year slump.