Why this coming pre-season is so important to Sheffield Wednesday and has left players wondering what to expect from Jos Luhukay
It is an aspect of this Sheffield Wednesday campaign that has come into sharp focus due to the manner of some early season defeats and an injury list that would cripple any side.
Joey Pelupessy wasn’t at Wednesday for this pre-season past, but nevertheless, he has been in football long enough to know the importance of a strong summer to prepare for the challenge ahead.
With things having taken a turn for the better for the Owls, in terms of results and performances - mostly - Wednesday should go into the break on a high and ready to come back and right a few wrongs.
They will be helped by the return of some players who missed long periods through injury and perhaps one or two new faces. Regardless of that, Pelupessy believes it is crucial to begin the new season well and having a good summer is key to that.
“It will be very important,” he said.
“If we want to start well, we have to have a good pre-season and practice on how (Jos Luhukay) wants to play. The start is very important.
“We have to make sure we finish this season well and then we create something for pre-season. It is so important to start a season well because if you don’t do that then it makes things more difficult at the end.”
Having come into the club in January, a few weeks before compatriot Pelupessy joined from Dutch side Heracles Almelo, boss Luhukay will be undertaking his first pre-season in England.
With the majority of the work under previous head coach Carlos Carvalhal focussed on training with the ball, it will be interesting to see how the Dutchman will prepare his squad for the new campaign.
There has already been suggestions from players that there was a lack of base fitness but they all go into the unknown somewhat this summer. Pelupessy, for one, doesn’t quite know what to expect.
“I don’t know because we like to play football in Holland and he’s Dutch but I think he will mix it up a little,” he said. “I think there will be a lot of running and also things with the ball. We will see. I’ve heard the English ones are running! We will see.”
Already fans are starting to look at areas where Wednesday need to strengthen for the new season, but unless a few sales are made, there won’t be huge amounts of money available to make major signings.
That said, returning players like Gary Hooper, Steven Fletcher, Keiren Westwood and Kieran Lee will offer a new dimension for Luhukay who has yet to see them in action for his team.
“We have a really good team and we have players coming back from injury,” added Pelupessy. “We’ve had key players come back and that has made a big difference. There are more players to come back so that’s a positive thing. There is a lot of quality on the training ground and when everyone is back I think we can have a good season.”