Sheffield Wednesday: Almen Abdi is embarking on a mini pre-season of his own, confirms Owls boss

Almen Abdi

Almen Abdi

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Boss Carlos Carvalhal has revealed Almen Abdi is embarking on his own mini pre-season as the Owls midfielder looks to turnaround his fortunes.

Abdi, a £4m summer acquisition from Watford, has struggled to hit top form since moving to Hillsborough and was not involved in Saturday’s 1-0 triumph over Queens Park Rangers.

The playmaker, who turned 30 last weekend, has started seven times for the Owls but been taken off at half-time on three occasions after failing to make a big impact.

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Carvalhal told The Star: “In the last three weeks, Abdi’s physical condition has come a little down so we decided to put him out of the QPR game.

“Abdi is available to play, of course, but he didn’t do pre-season so he will do some specific work over the next few weeks.

“We will try to push him to bring him with a second life. That is our proposal and we believe that we will improve the player.

“We know Abdi has abilities and will perform at his best level in the future. We don’t give up.”

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Abdi’s preferred position is central midfield but Carvalhal has regularly utilised him out wide this season. Despite being given the license to roam infield when deployed in a wing role, the Switzerland international has under-performed.

“Abdi is a player that we brought in and we have a lot of wishes about him,” said Carvalhal. “Sometimes players integrate more fast into a team than others.

“Abdi is a player who is taking a little more time than we expected and he expects but we are here to help the players and push them. We are here to integrate them.

“It is not easy for a midfielder to come and play inside the dynamic of our team.”

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Carvalhal is sure Abdi will bounce back after a slow start to his Owls career.

“I’m happy with Almen,” said Carvalhal. “He’s a good character and player.

“Almen has shown in the past what he can do and I’m absolutely sure he will show in the future that he’s good value to us.”

Wednesday go to Derby County on Saturday seeking to stretch their unbeaten away run to four outings. The Rams, sitting fourth-from-bottom, will be without the services of Will Hughes, who is set to serve a one-match suspension after collecting five bookings. The England Under-21 international picked up his latest caution in Saturday’s loss at Huddersfield Town.

Meanwhile, the Owls’ development squad head to Bolton Wanderers tonight, kick-off 7pm.

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