Sheffield Wednesday boss Tony Pulis finally secured his first victory in charge of the Owls this afternoon, and he has central defender Tom Lees to thank for it.
The veteran glanced home at the far post from a free-kick from skipper Barry Bannan in the 67th minute in the game’s only goal at Hillsborough Stadium.
As a result, the three points moved the Yorkshiremen off the foot of the Championship table, nudging ahead of Wycombe Wanderers on goal difference.
Coventry did try to snag a late equaliser, but heroics from returning 36-year-old goalkeeper Keiren Westwood delivered the Owls their first win in nine outings.
Both Lees and Westwood had a key influence in the result, but another Wednesday man shone above all – Joey Pelupessy.
The Dutch defensive midfielder absolutely dominated the visitors in the middle of the park, bringing home a 7.3 rating by SofaScore.
He won ten of his 12 duels (83%), both aerially and on the ground, made a squad-high five tackles, and only lost possession four times from 31 touches as he proved to be a hard man to combat.
YorkshireLive’s Dom Howson waxed lyrical over the 27-year-old in his post-match ratings, having him a 7/10. He said:
“Worked his socks off in the midfield engine room and kept things simple in possession.”
Pelupessy was also 100% accurate in his long balls, made one key pass and put in one interception.
Overall, it was the divisive powerhouse that completely ran things for Pulis.
By comparison, Lees was rather wasteful with the ball, making just 45% of his passes on top of losing possession 14 times, via SofaScore, so the goal perhaps masked his showing somewhat.
The £450k-rated Jos Luhulay signing is out of contract in the summer, so Pulis may need to dish out fresh terms sooner rather than later, especially if Pelupessy can keep that up in 2021.
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