VIDEO: Forestieri a special player, says Owls teammate Helan

Utility ace Jeremy Helan says Fernando Forestieri’s fitness will be crucial to Sheffield Wednesday’s hopes of challenging for a Championship play-off berth.

Forestieri grabbed a double in their comprehensive Boxing Day victory over Birmingham City, taking the forward’s tally to 10 goals in 17 Owls starts this campaign. His impressive scoring exploits include five in his last four outings.

Fernando Forestieri

Fernando Forestieri

The 25-year-old, a £3 million buy from Watford, is in the best form of his career and is now the joint second highest scorer in the Championship along with Charlie Austin and Nick Blackman.

Helan told The Star: “Fernando is a special player for us. We have very good, quality players and he is one of them.

“He gives us flair and we have missed someone like him who can score goals.

“We have to keep Fernando fit because he is in great form and gives us that little boost. He is that player who can change a game in a second.

“You know even if he doesn’t score that he is going to be dangerous and make assists. He can do everything in the final third so he is very important.”

Wednesday have become a difficult side to beat in their own backyard, winning seven out of their 12 home fixtures. Only this evening’s opponents, Middlesbrough, have triumphed at Hillsborough this term.

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Helan said: “Everyone is happy from the crowd to the players. It always good when the team is scoring goals, That’s two good home wins so I don’t think we could have asked for anymore.

Jeremy Helan

Jeremy Helan

“It’sis a big change from before. I remember playing at Hillsborough and there was a bit of pressure and we couldn’t get the results going. Now we have the crowd right behind us and everyone has been waiting for a long time to see the team doing well. We feel confident playing at home with the fans giving us a lift.”