Sheffield Wednesday 0 Reading 0: Owls blown off course, admits Bruce

Owls' Steven Fletcher.
Owls' Steven Fletcher.
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Sheffield Wednesday and Reading failed to produce a goal between them in a Hillsborough stalemate.

Wednesday midfielder Josh Onamah was missing with a hamstring injury, as was captain Tom Lees who failed a late fitness test.

That meant a start for youngster Jordan Thorniley at centre-half, alongside Michael Hector.

New signings Dominic Iorfa, Rolando Aarons and Achraf Lazaar were all named on the bench.

George Boyd came close to giving the Owls the perfect start, but his shot was well saved by Emi Martinez.

At the other end, Keiren Westwood had to be alert to palm away Liam Moore's deflected effort.

Fernando Forestieri picked out Steven Fletcher, but the striker's curled shot was comfortable for Martinez.

Sam Hutchinson and Forestieri both had chances before half-time, but were unable to beat the Reading goalkeeper.

Both sides produced some sloppy passing at the start of the second half, and when Barry Bannan coughed up possession, it took some excellent defending from Hector and Hutchinson to deny Sone Aluko and John Swift.

Westwood had to be alert to tip over Lewis Baker's deflected effort, and Wednesday were struggling to get started after half-time.

Steve Bruce - looking for a win on his game in charge at Hillsborough - brought on Aarons and Lucas Joao to try and force a goal.

And Reach should have snatched a late winner, but he blasted over after an excellent run and cross from Liam Palmer.

“It was frustrating,” Bruce said. “I always knew, seeing the forecast yesterday, how difficult it was going to be.

“For a footballer it’s the worst conditions to have that horrible swirling wind and it certainly swirled today.

“The disappointment is we didn’t take the real big chances, especially in the first half. In the second they had a 20-minute spell which, to be fair, Reading changed a little bit. They went more direct.

“Overall I’ve only been here a week and thankfully, we’ve kept another clean sheet. The remit to start with if you’re conceding two goals every week, you’re going to get beat and that’s one thing we’ve arrested.

“Now we just need to be a bit more clinical. We had five or six big chances.”