This article is part of Football FanCast’s Off the Bench series, which places in-game managerial decisions and squad selections under FFC’s microscope.
Sheffield Wednesday continued their good run of form under Garry Monk on Saturday afternoon, but it could have been even greater after they missed a chance to go top of the Championship table.
It is just the one league defeat under the former Whites man as they currently occupy a playoff position.
The Owls and their local Yorkshire rivals Leeds United battled out a 0-0 stalemate at Hillsborough with both teams having their chances.
None more so than Steven Fletcher, who saw an effort cannon off the crossbar in the second half.
Watch Sheffield Wednesday Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv Below
This game very much highlighted the contrasting elements to Monk’s reign so far – defensively, they’ve looked the part conceding just four goals in eight matches, but in the attack, Wednesday have only scored more than two goals twice and have bagged just three in five games.
The 40-year-old opted for Atdhe Nuhiu to partner Fletcher upfront, meaning Sam Winnall and Fernando Forestieri were on the bench with only the latter getting some game time.
In the 86th minute, Monk turned to the Italian to try and snatch something at the death with it being all tied up at 0-0.
But perhaps it was too little, too late as that’s barely enough time to make a considerable impact on the game.
Nuhiu never looked like scoring after he managed just the one attempt at goal, so Forestieri should have been introduced far earlier.
The 29-year-old has been talked up on multiple occasions in the lead up to him serving his six-match ban with Monk going as far as saying that he is “devastating at this level.”
Yet, since his return, Forestieri has managed just 20 minutes of Championship action, which would contradict his manager’s words slightly.
For him to be ‘devastating,’ he needs to be given the opportunity to play, and he’s just not received that yet.
This is a player that ranked as their top goalscorer in back-to-back playoff campaigns not too long ago with 15 and then 12 goals, per Transfermarkt.
He just should have been introduced earlier in the match or even started, as the only way he’s going to be able to reach his previous level is by playing regularly.
Given how badly the side relies on Fletcher for goals, and their lack of sticking the ball in the net in recent weeks, it would make sense to give Forestieri a shot.
It’s just baffling to snub him.