Sheffield Wednesday 1 Preston North End 0: Agnew and Clemence watch Owls triumph

Sheffield Wednesday started life after Jos Luhukay with a 1-0 home victory against Preston North End at Hillsborough.

Owls' Keiren Westwood back in first team action.....Pic Steve Ellis
Owls' Keiren Westwood back in first team action.....Pic Steve Ellis

Less than 24 hours after the Dutch manager left the Owls, caretaker boss Lee Bullen saw Michael Hector grab a deserved winner.

The Yorkshire Post understands the Owls are in advanced talks with Steve Bruce to replace Luhukay.

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Steve Agnew, Bruce’s assistant, and coach Stephen Clemence were in the crowd at Hillsborough and an official announcement could come next week.

Bullen had made three big decisions ahead of the game, recalling a trio of experienced players frozen out under Luhukay.

Keiren Westwood started in place of Cameron Dawson in goal, with midfielder Sam Hutchinson named on the bench.

The pair had been frozen out by Luhukay, the 34-year-old Westwood having not featured for over a year. His last game was December 9 last year against Norwich City.

Hutchinson's last match was back in August, a League Cup defeat to Wolves, the same game midfielder George Boyd was last seen. Boyd was also recalled as a substitute.

Preston's Ben Pearson sent off for a tackle on Owls' Marco Matias...Pic Steve Ellis

The Owls - without the suspended Barry Bannan - went into the game having won just once in 10 outings.

Neither side created any clear chances in the first half hour, but the visitors were reduced to 10 men in the when Ben Pearson was shown a straight red card for a high tackle on Marco Matias.

Steven Fletcher came close to giving Wednesday the lead on 32 minutes. Adam Reach's cross picked out the Scotland striker, whose header looked to be creeping inside the post before Declan Rudd tipped it wide.

Lucas Joao was then denied by the woodwork, as the striker's header smashed against the post.

The Owls took the lead on 62 minutes.

Rudd did well to keep out Matias's shot, but when the ball came back in, Hector - the on-loan defender from Chelsea - headed home in front of the Kop.

Good work from Josh Onomah set Fletcher free, but Rudd did well to thwart the striker's long-range effort.

Hutchinson and Boyd were brought on as second-half substitutions, but Wednesday held on to claim a much-needed three points.