Tony Pulis has spoken of why he joined Wednesday, of our “fantastic supporters”, creating a winning mentality at the club and how he hopes to take us back to the Premier League.
Giving his first press conference this afternoon, Pulis said: “It’s a club with great potential. I have got a lot of friends who are Sheffield Wednesday supporters.
“The opportunity to manage here is a privilege and honour. I will really work my socks off to try and be successful.”
He added: “My first manager (Don Megson at Bristol Rovers) always used to tell me about Sheffield Wednesday.
“I’ve known Gary Megson since he was a young lad and there’s no bigger fan than him. And then there’s Sam Ellis.
“Everyone tells you what a big club it is and how committed the supporters are. You don’t get offered a job like this very often. It’ll be a challenge but hopefully we’ll get a positive outcome.”
Pulis said he feels the squad is a little over-weighted in certain positions and on the mentality of the players, he commented: “I am looking forward to trying to get into their ribs as much as possible to see what they are made of.
“I like to have winners. I like to have people who go out there to win.
“There is an edge that you need and that comes from within the group.”
He also said that Keiren Westwood would be his first choice goalkeeper if he was available for selection. Westwood was frozen out by previous boss, Garry Monk, but trained with the first team squad today and Pulis said: “I think he is one of the best goalkeepers in the Championship. If he was available, I would be looking for him to be playing.”
Regarding the style of play he wants to see at Hillsborough, he said: “I will look to find a way that suits the team and try and play to that.
“I expect the players to be committed and to work as hard as they possibly can. The priority is to make sure we win games.
“It is putting in place basic principles. Discipline, honesty and respect.
“It is a working class city. There will be no messing around or sugar-coating going on. It would be nice to get the club pointing in the right direction and have a real good crack.”
Thr manager said his immediate priorities will be to take a close look at the workings of the club, to speak to staff, to seek their views and to assess what needs bringing into place going forward,
He has yet to appoint any of his own backroom staff but said: “We’ll have a look after the next couple of days and see what we can and can’t do but we’ll definitely bring in staff.
“Unfortunately a lot of my staff are older than me and they’re in wheelchairs or using walking sticks!
“But no, I’ve always wanted experience around me and people who will challenge me. Coaching is a massive cross-section of opinion and it’s nice to have people questioning what you’re doing and how you do things.”
He spoke of the success he enjoyed at Stoke after taking them over in a similar position and, looking further ahead, he said: “When you look at the football club and enormous following they get, no disrespect to Sheffield United but if you got this club into the Premier League it would be the biggest club in Sheffield. At this moment, we are not.”
Pulis added: “I’d love to take the club into the Premier League, that would be my dream.
“It’d be up there with all my biggest achievements because of the size and the potential of the club.
“I had Sunday lunch with my family and we were saying if the club took off we’d have 40,000 people in. But saying it and doing it are two different things.”
Referring to the current lack of fans at games due to the coronavirus, he said: “It’ll be a massive disappointment for me that the fans won’t be there.
“The club’s supporters are out of this world, they’re fantastic.
“Whenever I’ve played against them there’s always been a massive travelling support.”
Chairman Dejphon Chansiri said of the appointment: “He has experience, the same as Steve Bruce. He is the right one at the moment.
“I know him before. We had a talk before. I think he is a good coach. This time, I think is the right time to get him here.”