STEVE BRUCE is set to be named Sheffield Wednesday’s new manager on Wednesday morning
The 58-year-old former Aston Villa boss had been in talks with the Owls since Jos Luhukay was axed before Christmas.
But a pre-planned family holiday over the festive period delayed his arrival at S6, although Bruce’s coaching staff Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence have been attending games.
The Yorkshire Post understands a deal was finally agreed yesterday – after the Owls drew 1-1 with another of Bruce’s former clubs, Birmingham City – and confirmation of the appointment will be made shortly.
Bruce will inherit a squad in good spirits, after caretaker boss Lee Bullen helped them to a four-match unbeaten run since Luhukay’s exit.
Next up for the Owls is an FA Cup tie with Luton Town on Saturday, while Bruce’s first league game will be a trip to Hull City –the club he was in charge of when they beat the Owls in the Championship play-off final three seasons ago.
Meanwhile, Bullen believes that the Owls players are playing with a ‘smile on their face’ again after producing a vibrant display against Birmingham, with only an inspired performance from visiting goalkeeper Lee Camp denying them three points.
A 1-1 draw took the Owls’ haul in four games under Bullen’s watch to eight points and while he would have gladly taken that tally before the run of fixtures, he also professed to a sense disappointment given recent performances.
Bullen added: “Prior to it, you probably would have (taken eight points).
“But looking back, you are disappointed given the way that the performances have gone.
“There was a lot of trust and players playing with a smile on their face (against Birmingham) and belief in each other. It was a team.
“I think we dominated for about 80 minutes, we had a 10-minute spell in the second half during which we got punished.
“In the first half I felt we were the team with the legs, the team with the energy, the team with the quality. We’re disappointed with the goal. The reaction to losing that goal I thought was second to none.”
There was a lot of trust and players playing with a smile on their face (against Birmingham) and belief in each other. It was a team.Lee Bullen