Sheffield Wednesday: Reach’s verdict on Forestieri’s fight for an Owls starting role

Fernando Forestieri
Fernando Forestieri

Out-of-favour Fernando Forestieri is being tipped to win back his Sheffield Wednesday first-team place by teammate Adam Reach.

The Argentine forward has been on the bench as the Owls have gone on a three-match winning streak and lifted themselves to 11th place in the Championship going into the international break.

In action against Wolves last week

In action against Wolves last week

But, speaking before Saturday's 2-1 victory at Reading, Reach revealed he thinks it's only a matter of time before Forestieri forces his way back into the fold.

"To have someone of that quality on the bench is fantastic," said the attacking midfielder who opened the scoring at the Madejski Stadium.

"I am sure he will be back in the starting 11 sooner rather than later. We need that quality Fernando brings."

Forestieri's situation is being complicated by the Football Association investigation which has been hanging over him since July.

The 28-year-old could be facing a ban for the alleged part he played in a mass pre-season brawl at Mansfield Town, with the FA expected to deliver their verdict this week.

He is accused of punching an opponent in the face as tempers flared at the final whistle of a 2-1 defeat for the Owls against the League Two club.

Forestieri was clearly assaulted himself in the melee that followed, taking a blow to the head from another member of the Town side.

There is a separate allegation, also being probed by the FA, that he racially abused Stags centre-half Krystian Pearce. Wednesday vehemently deny that claim.

The fans' favourite started the season in manager Jos Luhukay's team, scoring in both of the opening two games, but lost his place after a 2-0 defeat at Brentford. He has since impressed as a substitute in successive league victories against Millwall, Ipswich Town and Reading.

Luhukay has left several senior players on the sidelines and selected Academy prospects instead as he demands all-out effort from his squad.

"The manager wants players to work hard and give 100 per cent," Reach said. "Maybe Fernando did not do that and that was why he was put on the bench - to show a reaction."

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