Sheffield Wednesday: Joey Pelupessy delivers his verdict on Owls teammate Lucas Joao

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The player who almost turned last week's opening-day clash in Sheffield Wednesday's favour has been tipped to be a key man this season.

The Championship Owls went down 3-2 on a disappointing afternoon at Wigan Athletic, but an impressive contribution from striker Lucas Joao as a 61st-minute substitute gave them hope of an unlikely fightback.

Lucas Joao

Lucas Joao

Minutes after coming on when Wednesday were 3-1 down, the 24-year-old attacker set up Fernando Forestieri to reduce the arears and went on to trouble the home defence for the rest of the game.

With frontman Atdhe Nuhiu suspended after being sent off at the DW Stadium, Joao is expected to receive the call from manager Jo Luhukay to lead the line when the Wednesday face Hull City in their first home game tomorrow.

"He can be a very important player for us this season," said teammate Joey Peluppesy who also played at the DW Stadium.

"Lucas has a lot of qualities. He's strong, he's fast, he's technical. He can score goals very easily, in my opinion, and he showed that last season."

After scoring only twice before Christmas last season, Joao came good in the second half of the campaign after Luhukay had replaced Carlos Carvalhal and scored seven times in his final 18 outings.

A stunning touch played in Forestieri to put Luhukay's men back in the game against the Latics.

"He is a really good player with a lot of qualities," said Pelupessy who is also delighted to see another centre-forward, Steven Fletcher, approaching full match-fitness after a knee injury. "You saw it in the last minutes of the game at Wigan."

"We have a lot of depth up front. You can see in the training sessions that we have a lot of quality. Steven is almost ready to play. We have a lot of quality in this team. That's why I was really disappointed about the Wigan game."

Pelupessy revealed that Luhukay didn't hold back with his criticism as a poor performance in Wigan saw the Owls fall to a side who were in League One last season.

"He has had stern words to say," the midfielder admitted. " He wasn't happy. It was a bad game and only parts of it were a little bit positive. He showed his disappointment to us.

"He's showed us a lot of clips. There was a meeting with the team and we were talking about it with each other and the manager. It's good to see what went wrong and also the positive things.We stayed in the game for a long time. It was also possible to make it 3-3. We had two good chances.

"The most important thing is to learn from what was wrong and to move on to the next game. Of course, he was disappointed, like the whole team. We didn't expect it, to be honest, because we have a lot of quality in the team.

"We had a good pre-season. We had good training sessions. Before the game, we are thinking we are ready for it. A game like last week was disappointing and I can understand how the manager felt."

The Tigers arrive at Hillsborough having lost 3-1 at home to Aston Villa in their opener on Monday night and Pelupessy believes Wednesday can put their first points on the board.

"I'm really confident there will be a reaction against Hull," he said. "We're playing our first home game and that's always really nice.

"I'm excited about it. We all want to show that we can change our feelings from last Saturday. We are ready for it."

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