On the day former Owls head coach Carlos Carvalhal was unveiled as new boss of Premier League strugglers Swansea City, Bullen was sitting in his former boss’s chair at Wednesday’s Middlewood Road training ground to preview tomorrow’s Championship trip to Brentford.
Ex-England manager Steve McClaren – reported to have met Owls’ owner Dejphon Chansiri this week – is understood not to be a contender for the job, but Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonseca remains in the running for the vacancy.
But Bullen is the man currently charged with the role and hopes to build on an impressive 3-0 win at Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day.
The Owls had endured a seven-game winless run, forcing Carvalhal’s exit, before coach Bullen was placed in caretaker charge.
Bullen has been tasked with taking charge of the first team for tomorrow’s trip to Brentford and the New Year’s Day visit of Burton Albion.
“As an ex-Sheffield Wednesday player and a fan I’ve got my dream job here for two or three weeks,” said Bullen.
“I am very, very lucky to have this opportunity, I am very, very lucky to to have the academy staff and Andy Rhodes around me to help me through it, but ultimately the chairman has to make the right decision for the football club, not the right decision for Lee Bullen.
“If he needs me to do it for a little bit longer then I am here to do it. But it’s not an easy one for him. He’s got to take advice from a lot of people and make his decision on that. I am here to support everything he needs me to do.
“I’m loving the opportunity that the chairman has given me over the last two or three days. Long term, you are not going to get me pulled on that, that’s a tough enough job for the chairman.”
Bullen would jump at the chance to take the job full-time, and positive results at Brentford and Burton could sway Chansiri.
A move for Fonseca would seem highly unlikely as he would be required to swap Donetsk – who have a last-16 Champions League tie with Roma coming up in 2018 – for a struggling Championship outfit.
However, Fonseca is represented by Doyen Sports, who also work closely with Chansiri on player recruitment at Hillsborough.
After twice falling in the Championship play-offs – once in the final, once in the semi-final – Bullen believes the next manager must be able to take the Owls back to the Premier League.
“Obviously the club want to take the next step so, if you could, you have a coach coming in who could potentially have a little bit of experience of winning promotion and pushing to the next level,” he said.
“The chairman has a tough, tough job because whoever comes in has got a fabulous group of players, a fabulous football club, a club that is very proactive in going forward.
“They have an excellent chairman who wants to do everything he can to take the club to the next level.
“So there’s a lot worse jobs out there for someone.”
With the January transfer window set to re-open on Monday, the Owls would prefer to get the new manager in next week. But with several high-profile players set to return from injury next month, Bullen believes there is plenty of talent in the Owls’ squad with which the incoming boss can work.
Asked what he would say to any incoming Hillsborough manager, Bullen responded: “I’d say, ‘you are coming to a club that has a phenomenal support base. Go to YouTube and look at Wembley, look at Cardiff’.
“You have a group of players who on their day have probably not punched their weight this season.
“Part of the sadness of the last few days is we as a coaching and playing staff put our hand up and say we should be better, we should be higher up the league.
“But the league doesn’t lie and we deserve to be where we are because we haven’t been consistent enough.
“A new manager coming in, he knows he is coming to a club that has a group of players that on their day should be up their challenging to get promotion.
“Players are coming back from injuries to strengthen the squad and with a new voice and new ideas the future is bright for any potential manager.
“Even with the current group without any additional players. I’m sure he’ll have his own ideas, but if he decides to go with the group of players he’s got and back fully fit then I think he’ll be happy with the group he’s got.”
Links to McClaren emerged yesterday after it was announced he had left his coaching role at Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Former Barnsley chief executive Ben Mansford – now in a similar role at Maccabi – hinted the former Derby County manager had a new club in the pipeline.
Mansford said: “We are naturally disappointed Steve decided to pursue other options, but this was something we knew could happen right from the start.”
York-born McClaren – sacked by Derby in March – was at Hillsborough in May to watch the play-off semi-final defeat to Huddersfield Town.
But, The Yorkshire Post understands, McClaren is not a contender to replace Carvalhal.