Why Steve Bruce is unhappy despite 12 games unbeaten with Sheffield Wednesday

On the ball: George Boyd holds off City's Joe Allen.
On the ball: George Boyd holds off City's Joe Allen.
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STEVE BRUCE was left frustrated despite maintaining his unbeaten record in charge of the Owls.

It was because George Boyd had a ‘goal’ disallowed for offside during a battling display which earned Wednesday a pointt but left them three adrift of the play-offs.

Bruce hit out at the match officials after his 12th game in charge. “The big chance, we think he (Boyd) was onside for the goal. The linesman took an eternity to make it (the decision), and when you look at it, I thought the rule was to benefit the attacker, not the other way.

“So that was a big decision for us. That would have been nice for us to go 1-0 up but with all the problems we’ve had, we’ll take the draw.

“Considering the problems we had with Rolando (Aarons) missing out, we’re playing makeshift at the minute, if the truth be known. There’s no way I wanted to play (Gary) Hooper, then we’ve got (Sam) Winnall, (Fernando) Forestieri has had his problems and (Steven) Fletcher wasn’t fit so it wasn’t ideal.

“Stoke have some good players to be fair to them, very good players for this division, so considering the problems we’ve had, we haven’t played anywhere near where we feel we’ve been able to.

“It’s a point but it’s not particularly what we want.”

The visitors’ disallowed strike came on the half-hour when Boyd was played in by Gary Hooper before rounding goalkeeper Jack Butland and netting.

After the break, Wednesday had goalkeeper Keiren Westwood to thank as he thwarted Bojan from close-range before keeping out Benik Afobe and Tom Ince.

Substitute Winnall headed wide at the back post and Liam Palmer was kept out by Butland, to leave the Owls three points off the top six in 11th.

Stoke manager Nathan Jones felt his side lacked a cutting edge in front of goal. “There were so many positives from the performance but we just lacked the final touch to put those chances away .

“In terms of the structure, work rate, how we passed the ball, controlled possession, controlled the game, how we got into the final third, how we created chances, I was delighted.

“That it is as good as we have played. We are evolving into a real fluent side.”

StokeCity: Butland, Edwards, Shawcross, Batth, Martins Indi, Ince, Allen, Etebo, McClean (Verlinden 71), Krkic, Afobe (Diouf 67). Unused substitutes: Bauer, Williams, Adam, Federici, Woods.

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Iorfa, Lees, Hector, Palmer, Reach (Marco Matias 89), Hutchinson, Bannan, Boyd, Hooper (Nuhiu 69), Forestieri (Winnall 58). Unused substitutes: Fox, Pelupessy, Thorniley, Dawson.

Referee: A Madley (West Yorkshire).