Sheffield Wednesday must start quickly in race for promotion - Joey Pelupessy

IT will not be lost upon anybody at Sheffield Wednesday that only three other Championship clubs took more points than they managed after Christmas.

Joey Pelupessy: Enjoyed an extended run in the Sheffield Wednesday team under Steve Bruce. (Picture: Steve Ellis)

That statistic is likely to heighten the importance of the Owls maintaining their fine form in the second half of 2018-19 at the start of next term to give themselves the very best chance of doing something substantial in a second tier which has all the makings of being an open one next season.

Midfielder Joey Pelupessy, for one, is under no illusions about the key requirement for Wednesday to start out on the front foot under Steve Bruce in 2019-20.

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He said: “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.

“If we play like this (post-Christmas) form next season and work together, we have a good chance to be in the top ten or maybe higher and try for the play-offs.”

The former Heracles player was afforded plenty of involvement during the Owls’ run-in and is confident that he has something to offer moving forward under Bruce.

While being the first to admit that his first full season at Hillsborough has had its peaks and troughs – much like the team – he believes that he has emerged as a better all-round player at the end of it.

Sheffield Wednesday's Joey Pelupessy beats Millwall's Aiden O'Brien (Picture: Steve Ellis)

He added: “I feel like a Championship player now. I think the level is high and I feel like I am at that level and feel comfortable and good at the moment.

“The level is good for me and I am learning better every day and maybe also in every game. It gives me a good feeling.”

On the importance of Bruce in the club’s renaissance, Pelupessy – who featured 35 times for Wednesday in all competitions last season – continued: “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.”