How ‘aggression and togetherness’ will help Steve Bruce’s Sheffield Wednesday hit the ground running next season
Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Joey Pelupessy says an injection of “aggression and togetherness” since Steve Bruce took over as manager will help the team get off to a strong start in the new campaign.
The Owls’ strong second half of 2018/19 under Bruce has lifted expectation at Hillsborough, as Wednesday just missed out on a play-off place.
Promotion is the target again next season though as the Owls chief builds a squad capable of reaching the top six.
And according to Dutchman Pelupessy, the values and squad unity that the manager has instilled since his arrival will be the key in making that dream a reality.
Pelupessy said: "I think you see a lot of aggression, a lot of team spirit, togetherness, working together and also solid defence so I think that is an important thing defensively we were strong.
“Of course you have to make goals as well but the organisation was really good I think and from there you can do a lot so I think that is the biggest difference since this manager came in.
“He talks a lot with the players and I think that is good and the atmosphere is also good and that is what he creates - also with the assistant managers. We have good training sessions.
“They are hard and serious, but sometimes have fun and it is a good combination. You can see it works.
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“The thing in this competition is that you need to be there from the start. We almost reached the play-offs, but had a bad start.
“If we had a good start, it would have been much easier to be in the top six. You need to be consistent. You can lose a few games, but not four or five in a row.”
And that's something Wednesday have managed since Bruce steadied the ship – the Owls have only lost three times under the four-time promotion winning manager, although those results eventually derailed any hopes of reaching the play-offs in the last campaign.
It is a positive sign of things to come though, as Pelupessy said: "We have shown what we can do as a team on our good run.
“It shows we have a lot of quality and can work together as a team and that is really important.
"We also had the chance to get close this season, hopefully we can make it next season.
"It is a big difference if you see us say in October and November and now. It is a big difference and a positive and a good thing. Hopefully we can do it next season - from the start.”