Joao excited to work under English boss at Sheffield Wednesday

Goal celebrations for Owls match winner Lucas Joao......Pic Steve Ellis
Goal celebrations for Owls match winner Lucas Joao......Pic Steve Ellis
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Lucas Joao struck late on as Steve Bruce’s reign in charge of Sheffield Wednesday started with a hard-fought 1-0 win over bottom-placed Ipswich at Portman Road.

The striker netted in the 90th minute to ensure the Owls collected all three points in a scrappy and disjointed Sky Bet Championship encounter.

Wednesday missed a host of chances throughout the game and were forced to wait until the death for second-half substitute Joao to fire home from Adam Reach’s cross.

After working for Portuguese coach Carlos Carvalhal and Dutch boss Jos Luhukay, Joao is looking forward to working under Englishman Bruce.

“It was amazing to help the team win and have the chance to score a goal after hard work from the team,” said Joao.

“I’m happy to have scored the goal but the most important thing was the three points.

“It is important to help the team whether you are in the first 11 or in the team.

“I was lucky enough to come off the bench and get in the position to score.

“Spirits are good because we have won an away game. The new manager has just arrived and it was important to win to start to build something.

“He wants us to work hard and run more than the other teams, which is important in this league. He wants us to show our quality when we have the ball.

“He is the first English manager I have worked with. It will be a different experience and I hope he will help me grow up as a player.

“I think he can help take my game to another level. I will work hard in training to become a better player.”

Ipswich applied some late pressure but the defeat leaves them bottom of the Championship, eight points adrift of safety.

“In the end, I think we had five or six wonderful opportunities and didn’t take them and that always puts you under a bit of pressure,” said Bruce.

“However, I thought we were comfortable in the game, the goalkeeper (Keiren Westwood) in the end made the save from the header - that was the only attempt they had on goal I think.

“I still think I’m a player, that never leaves you, but I’ve got the second best thing to being a player. I think it’s maybe the second time in 40 years that I’ve had a Christmas off.

“We haven’t been in the Premier League for 19 years, a big club like ours, so let’s hope I can be the one. It will take a bit of time, there’s a lot a work to be done but (I’m) delighted to be back and given the opportunity.”

Ipswich: Bialkowski, Bree, Nsiala, Pennington, Kenlock, Bishop (Chalobah 74), Skuse, Downes (Harrison 90), Sears, Quaner (Keane 55), Judge. Unused substitutes: Gerken, Nolan, Dozzell, Emmanuel.

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Palmer, Lees, Hector, Fox, Bannan, Hutchinson, Reach, Forestieri (Aarons 86), Boyd (Onomah 65), Fletcher (Lucas Joao 72). Unused substitutes: Pelupessy, Thorniley, Nuhiu, Dawson.

Referee: O Langford (W Midlands).