Sheffield Wednesday 1 Preston 0: Steve Bruce knows how to get promotion from Championship - Bullen

Sheffield Wednesday caretaker Lee Bullen believes Steve Bruce's record in the Championship is second to none as he appears on the brink of a return to management with the Owls, who beat Preston 1-0.

Happy Owls caretaker boss Lee Bullen with match winner Michael Hector....Pic Steve Ellis
Happy Owls caretaker boss Lee Bullen with match winner Michael Hector....Pic Steve Ellis

Michael Hector scored the only goal as the Owls claimed their second win in 11 games as the potential arrival of Bruce dominated talk at Hillsborough, a day after Jos Luhukay was sacked after less than a year in charge.

Bruce is believed to be on his way to Hillsborough - 20 years after starting his managerial career across the city at Sheffield United - as a replacement for Jos Luhukay who left on Friday.

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Steve Agnew, Bruce’s assistant, and coach Stephen Clemence were in the crowd at Hillsborough and Bruce appears set for a return to management two months after being sacked by Aston Villa.

Bullen said: “Whether or not it happens at this level I think you can only point at Steve Bruce or our good friend at Cardiff (Neil Warnock) that have just have an unbelievable record of success at this level.

“Steve will be hurting with the way things went at Aston Villa, absolutely, but if you get the opportunity to speak to someone like that - a British coach that knows the Championship inside out then you don’t knock back the opportunity to speak to him. Whether anything comes of it I don’t know.”

Bullen admitted his dream would be to remain at Hillsborough and for the Owls to make a return to the Premier League.

But he added: “Let’s see what the next 24 hours hold.

“They are really good football people and I have always had a really good relationship with these guys.

“Listen, hopefully they take away from it, if they have watched the last five-10 games, they’d probably think ‘Geez, we are jumping into the frying pan’ but hopefully they look at that today and think ‘you know what there is a good team there that has been playing well below par’.

“If you play like that with the discipline they showed today for large spells of the game then it’s not a bad job to potentially be going in for.”

Of the game, he said: “Phew! It has been a tough few weeks and a tough 24 hours.

“A good man has lost his job. As much euphoria that’s going around, that’s fantastic, with any coach I’ve worked with you get to learn a lot and maybe you get to learn things you would maybe do differently.

“So from that point personally I want to wish Jos all the best.”

Opposite number Alex Neil intends to appeal against Ben Pearson’s red card, saying: “I think definitely, yeah. Having watched it back on a few occasions it certainly merits an appeal.

“I thought it was very quick for the red card to come out, I’m not convinced there was any malice in it

“The lad pops up and plays for the rest of the game so I think that shows you how bad a tackle it was.”

The first goal action came after 34 minutes when Steven Fletcher’s looping header from Adam Reach’s cross was clawed away by Preston keeper Declan Rudd.

The Owls came within inches of taking the lead three minutes before the break when Lucas Joao’s firm header beat the outstretched arm of Rudd only for the ball to hit the post, Reach again the provider.

Rudd then produced a fine save to block Matias’ low, close-range drive before the Owls scored from the resulting corner.