Tony Pulis on the psychological impact Swansea City star André Ayew had on his Sheffield Wednesday players
Sheffield Wednesday manager Tony Pulis has spoken about the psychological impact Swansea City striker André Ayew had on his players in the 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium last night.
The Ghana international scored the Swans’ equaliser on the hour-mark, following his introduction as a half-time substitute by Steve Cooper, to help earn his side a point against a vastly-improved Owls outfit.
Wednesday had led through Adam Reach’s fine 27th minute effort, after a well-worked corner by Barry Bannan, and had looked more than good value for their lead against fourth-placed City, who have suffered defeat only twice in the current Sky Bet Championship campaign.
But Pulis, returning to his native South Wales with his new side, believed Ayew’s appearance after the break changed the dynamics of the game.
"I thought we played really well in the first half, after the first 10 minutes of Swansea possession I thought we played into the space more and looked like a really good passing team," said Pulis, speaking to the media afterwards.
"We moved the ball through the pitch well. I thought (Adam Reach) Reachy, Barry (Bannan) and the midfield players (Callum Paterson) Pato and (Massimo) Luongo really got to grips with the game and we played really well.
"In the second half, they changed their system. I think Ayew is one of the best forwards in the league and him coming on was the difference. It pushed us back a bit.
"The psychological effect of him coming on with our defenders was that they took little bit of a step back. They then, really and truthfully, controlled the game and it was only when we changed it right at the end that we looked a lot more comfortable.”
It was Ayew's sixth goal of the campaign for Swansea and Wednesday defender Joost Van Aken was subjected criticism in some quarters for failing to close down the striker for the game’s leveller.
But Pulis refused to single out the Dutchman when asked about the goal afterwards.
"Listen, the lads have worked really, really hard. They are a really, really good group of lads,” he said.
“Since I’ve come in, they’ve really worked hard. There are lots of things we have to work on and lots of things I would like to put in place and we are short in certain areas.
“But when you think that we have got six players out tonight – (Josh) Windass, (Jack) Marriott, (Aden) Flint, (Dominic) Iorfa, (Chey) Dunkley.
"Those players would most probably have started tonight.
“The players who have played tonight have done absolutely fantastically well.”
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