The former Sheffield Wednesday manager Brian Laws has backed Tony Pulis to prove his doubters wrong at Hillsborough.
Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Pulis as their new manager on Friday, with the Welshman replacing his Middlesbrough predecessor, Garry Monk, for a second time.
Pulis was not the first-choice candidate for many Owls fans, with his direct style of play their primary grumble.
But Laws told BBC Radio Sheffield following the 62-year-old’s appointment that ‘there’s more to him than that’.
“I think it’s a sensible appointment,” he said. “I know people are… and I’ve heard many supporters concerned, thinking, well, he’s a long-ball tactician. I know Tony quite well. I’ve watched a lot of his training sessions as well. I’ve worked alongside him. One thing you’re going to get from Tony, he’s a seasonal winner, in that he knows how to win games. And he will work with the tools that he has available to him. Now, if he’s got those tools currently and he can’t make changes, he’ll work best with them. He won’t change them dramatically. But what he will do, he’s very much a disciplinarian. He’ll make sure that they are marshalled, they’ve got a good understanding of their roles and responsibilities, and every man will know his role within that football club and on the pitch. And I think, moving forward, Tony will do a terrific job for the club.
“You’ve got to give the guy an opportunity and a chance. People put his name to long-ball tactics but there’s more to him than that. He is a really good tactician, he knows the game immensely well. He’s got over 1,000 games under his belt. And he’s won promotions – nobody complained when they were winning games and getting promotions. I think you’ve got to give the guy a real opportunity. Get behind him, because I think he’s a solid, solid acquisition for the football club.
“He won’t be messed about. He will stand up and be counted and he will want to be in charge that is for sure. He will not go in as second-fiddle. He will make sure that he’s in charge and he will be making decisions.
“He loves a challenge. He loves to prove people wrong. I think that’s always been in his mantra, it’s how he works. He always feels like he’s got something to prove and he loves doing it, time and time again. For me, I’m looking forward to him proving people wrong.”
Wednesday have failed to disclose the length of Pulis’s contract, with suggestions ranging from seven months to two-and-a-half years.
The Newport native’s backroom team has yet to be announced, although it is rumoured that Dave Kemp will follow his former Middlesbrough, West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace, Stoke City, Plymouth Argyle and Portsmouth colleague to Hillsborough.
Laws managed the Owls between 2006 and 2009, but has been out of work since leaving Scunthorpe United four years later.