Sheffield Wednesday gave their survival hopes an almighty boost on Tuesday night as they defeated Blackburn Rovers 1-0 at Hillsborough Stadium to move to within four points of safety.
In the absence of manager Darren Moore from the dugout, the Owls edged this close affair thanks to a 37th-minute strike from Josh Windass, taking his tally for the season to nine goals.
And whilst he deserves plenty of plaudits – he did receive YorkshireLive‘s ‘Man of the Match’ award – there was another name who was potentially Wednesday’s unsung hero on the night.
Keeping that clean sheet was just as important as the 27-year-old finding the net and it was the Dutchman’s bustling energy and drive in the heart of midfield that was most notable, and ultimately infectious towards his teammates.
You’re never going to get anything fancy from the Jos Luhukay signing and truth be told, he’s rarely looked fantastic in an Owls shirt but against Rovers, he has to be given more credit.
The 27-year-old beast won 83% of his duels – five of six – to dominate his battles and drive Wednesday forward, often giving the ball to Barry Bannan to provide some sort of creativity.
But it is often that dirty work that goes unnoticed. He also chipped in with four successful tackles, which was the most of any player on the pitch – either home or away – and also managed an Owls-high two interceptions, only further proving his ability to read the game perfectly on Tuesday night.
Furthermore, he was a hard man to shake off. From his 36 touches, he only lost possession three times – by far the lowest of any starter on the pitch. He even made 75% of his long balls, and 88% of his 25 passing attempts, as per SofaScore.
These figures were all better than his averages for the campaign, where he has featured 36 times, too.
The Star summed it up perfecting in their post-game column, describing Pelupessy’s display as “unflashy but assured,” also adding: “Wednesday won the midfield battle and Pelupessy was a part of that.”
Indeed that was certainly the case and as a result, Pelupessy was Moore’s, assistant Jamie Smith’s, and the Owls’ unsung hero from this wonderful victory.
He and the side must now back it up with another win this weekend.