Sheffield Wednesday: Carlos Carvalhal confident over new-look Owls attack

Fernando Forestieri
Fernando Forestieri

Was the Port Vale friendly a little glimpse into the future?

Are Fernando Forestieri, Gary Hooper and Steven Fletcher set to start Wednesday’s Championship opener against Aston Villa?

Since replacing Stuart Gray at the helm, Carlos Carvalhal has largely favoured playing with two strikers.

At the back end of last season, Forestieri and Hooper were his first-choice pairing.

But Wednesday have beefed up their forward line over the summer, bringing in Fletcher.

The Scotland international lined up alongside Hooper in the first half against the Valiants, with Forestieri’s talent utilised on the left flank.

While Forestieri, the Owls’ standout performer, is capable of doing a good job out wide, he has played the vast majority of his career down the middle.

However, Carvalhal claims a large proportion of Forestieri’s 15 goals last term came as a winger.

“I must put the players to play where I think it is better for the team and they are doing very well,” Carvalhal told The Star.

“Fernando scored 80 per cent of his goals playing on the left last season and not in the centre. It is not a problem.

“We must create our dynamic and the way that we play.

“[Almen] Abdi played on the left versus Port Vale and scored his goal in the centre. He nearly got another in the centre.

“It is not a question of playing on the left or right.

“The position is where you start the game but when you develop the dynamic, the players share the position and they play in different places during the game.”

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Getting the best out of Forestieri again could hold the key to the Owls figuring in the promotion shake-up for the second year on the spin. The talented forward has been in superb form throughout pre-season, registering against Chesterfield, Portuguese champions Benfica, CD Nacional, Portimonense and Port Vale.

Carvalhal, who still wants to strengthen his backline, said: “Fernando is a fantastic player and had a fantastic season last year. We expect him to do better than last season and that’s our wish of all the players. We want them to all do better individually.

“But for them to do better individually, the collective must work and play with a good dynamic.

“We feel that all our players are enjoying the way we play and that we can do better.”

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