For a third successive Sheffield derby neither side could conjure up a goal.
Owls manager Bruce said: “We all enjoy the spectacle of a derby game and we have witnessed them all over the weekend. They are not great.
“Both teams went head to head, but in terms of quality there was a lot to be desired. The intensity of the game, both sides got wrapped up in it. These games are like cup finals, but sadly they lacked a bit of quality. I can’t fault their attitude.”
Wilder – who confirmed defender Jack O’Connell had a coin hurled at him from a section of Owls supporters - said: “I didn’t think either side deserved to win, or showed enough quality. The game was just littered with fouls, it never got going. Two clear openings, but I don’t think anybody deserved to win.”
The two chances alluded to fell to United’s Gary Madine, whose header was saved by goalkeeper Keiren Westwood in the first half, and Owls’ Sam Hutchinson was thwarted by Dean Henderson after the break.
“A big chance for Sam, probably the biggest of the game,” said Bruce. “From six yards, either side of the goalkeeper it goes in.
“Sam has been terrific since I walked through the door, he epitomises everything I want,” added Bruce, who revealed he substituted Fernando Forestieri, at half-time, with the striker feeling his hamstring.
Wilder concluded: “Steve has galvanised some really good players, and I can’t believe I am saying this, but hopefully they can take some points off teams around us.”
The Owls have still to face United’s top two promotion rivals Leeds United and West Brom.