Sheffield Wednesday: Wallace wants refs to protect Fernando Forestieri

Ross Wallace
Ross Wallace
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Ross Wallace has called on referee Andre Marriner to protect Owls teammate Fernando Forestieri from any rough treatment tonight.

Forestieri, Wednesday’s 15-goal top-scorer, has been one of the most fouled players in the Championship this season.

And officials have penalised him three times for diving, with two of his bookings for simulation leading to suspensions.

Wallace, hoping to start the first leg of the Owls’ Play-Off Semi-Final duel after completing a three-match ban, fears the Seagulls will target Forestieri.

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“I don’t like people running up to the referees and asking for people to be booked,” said the winger. “Fernando has taken a bit of a beating this season.

“Fernando has been outstanding so maybe Brighton will get into him. Teams have tried to give him a kick and put him off his game.

“It is up to us to protect him and keep giving him the ball.

“But to be fair to Fernando, he has just shirked it all off and got on with it and he has been fantastic. Hopefully the referee can look after him.”

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Although Wallace feels Forestieri was harshly yellow carded in their draws at Hull City and MK Dons, he acknowledges there have been occasions where the diminutive forward has tumbled to ground too easily.

“He’s had one or two where he probably should have been booked and has dived,” he said. “There have been two or three which have been unfair like the Hull and MK Dons ones.

“The guy got the ball in the MK Dons game but Fernando was booked for it.”

Wallace expects Brighton to be well organised and hard to break down.

“They are a good side and finished third for a reason,” he added.

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