Owls coach fears Forestieri has gained a reputation for diving

Owls Fernando Forestieri was booked for diving after this incident
Owls Fernando Forestieri was booked for diving after this incident

Owls coach Lee Bullen fears top-scorer Fernando Forestieri has acquired a reputation for diving in the wake of their goalless draw with MK Dons.

The 15-goal forward received his third booking for simulation in the space of two months on a frustrating evening for Wednesday, who hit the woodwork four times and had Ross Wallace sent off late on.

Forestieri tumbled to ground in the closing stages after a challenge with Carl Baker and was yellow carded by referee Darren Handley, who was a late replacement for Peter Bankes.

Bullen, deputising for Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal, leapt to the defence of Forestieri, saying: “Fernando had to get out the road of the tackle.

“It is not a yellow card but the kid is paying for some sort of reputation. It is ridiculous. It is completely undeserved.

“He’s not that type of player. He is probably one of the most fouled players in this league and it is getting frustrating.”

The former Owls skipper has backed Forestieri to bounce back from the latest incident.

“He’s strong enough and is such a good footballer that he can handle that,” he said. “We will deal with it and move on.

“I’m sure it will spur him on.

“He shouldn’t have to justify himself. He’s one of the best players in the league. If you start kicking players like that out of the league, why do supporters turn up?

“A lot of supporters turn up to watch Fernando and Barry Bannan. What do we do? Get rid of them because they have a reputation. It is utterly ridiculous.”

On Carvalhal’s absence from post-match duties, Bullen said: “He’s just a little bit frustrated. Sometimes the emotions take care of things.

“He just asked me to pop in as it has been a very emotional night with regards to the way things panned out and some of the decisions which went against us.”