Championship
Sheff WedSheffield Wednesday1PrestonPreston North End0

Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Preston North End: Owls caretaker backs Steve Bruce for job

Lucas Joao
Sheffield Wednesday's Lucas Joao powered a header against the post

Sheffield Wednesday caretaker manager Lee Bullen believes the Owls will be doing "the right thing" if they appoint Steve Bruce to replace Jos Luhukay.

Ex-Aston Villa manager Bruce has been widely tipped to succeed the Dutchman, who was sacked on Friday.

And after Bruce's former Villa assistants, Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence, watched the Owls beat 10-man Preston from the Hillsborough stands, Bullen admitted he did not know how long he would remain in charge.

Bullen told BBC Radio Sheffield: "From my point of view it looks like they (Bruce & team) are coming in but I have no confirmation either way.

"If that is the case I think the chairman has done the right thing. For a manager of Steve's credentials, if you get the opportunity to talk to him, you don't knock it back. He's been there and done it."

Bullen was asked to lead the team at short notice following Luhukay's departure, during an eventful 24 hours where it was also announced that the club was being put up for sale by chairman Dejphon Chansiri.

A second-half header from Michael Hector gave the Owls a narrow but vital win as the on-loan Chelsea defender headed home Josh Onomah's cross.

The caretaker manager said: "We are very happy but it is tainted a little bit by the fact that a good man lost his job 24 hours ago. But we had a job to do today. The players and supporters were fantastic in the way they responded.

"I came out of the press conference yesterday and Jos wasn't there. Then I had a call from the chairman who came up to the training ground to explain the situation and tell me I would be in charge.

"From a timing point of view it wasn't particularly ideal. We had trained all week in preparation for the game and then it was like 'the ball is in your court, deal with it'."

Bullen made five changes to the team beaten at Swansea last week, including a return for goalkeeper Keiren Westwood, who kept a clean sheet.

"I made a couple of home calls to players last night to let them know they wouldn't be playing. It was a gamble to put some of those players in, but the atmosphere at Hillsborough has been pretty tough lately so I had to look at it from that aspect and luckily enough the decisions were vindicated with the result," he added.

Preston were a man light from the 26th minute onwards as Ben Pearson was shown a straight red card for a high tackle on Marco Matias.

Ben Pearson
Preston's Ben Pearson is shown a straight red card by referee David Coote

Seeking to take advantage of the extra man, the Owls almost took the lead just after the half-hour mark, but striker Steven Fletcher's glancing header was well saved by Declan Rudd.

Wednesday's top scorer Lucas Joao then went even closer as the game approached half-time. He climbed highest and met Adam Reach's cross, but his powerful header came back off the post.

They eventually took the lead in the 62nd minute through Hector and held on for a much-needed three points to move eight points clear of the Championship's relegation places.

Preston manager Alex Neil:

"Having watched it back on a few occasions [Pearson's red card] certainly merits an appeal.

"I thought it was very quick for the red card to come out, I'm not convinced there was any malice in it

"The lad pops up and plays for the rest of the game so I think that shows you how bad a tackle it was."

Line-ups

Sheff Wed

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Westwood
  • 2Palmer
  • 15Lees
  • 34Hector
  • 6Fox
  • 7OnomahSubstituted forHutchinsonat 81'minutes
  • 8Pelupessy
  • 20Reach
  • 19MatiasSubstituted forBoydat 88'minutes
  • 9FletcherSubstituted forNuhiuat 80'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 18Lucas João

Substitutes

  • 12Thorniley
  • 17Nuhiu
  • 21Boyd
  • 23Hutchinson
  • 24Baker
  • 25Dawson
  • 36Pudil

Preston

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1RuddBooked at 57mins
  • 2Fisher
  • 23HuntingtonBooked at 79mins
  • 6Davies
  • 16Hughes
  • 12GallagherSubstituted forBurkeat 79'minutes
  • 4PearsonBooked at 26mins
  • 45NmechaSubstituted forLedsonat 74'minutesBooked at 78mins
  • 11JohnsonBooked at 90mins
  • 29Barkhuizen
  • 9MoultBooked at 16minsSubstituted forBrowneat 48'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Browne
  • 13Crowe
  • 14Storey
  • 15Woods
  • 18Ledson
  • 19Burke
  • 33Walker
Referee:
David Coote
Attendance:
22,366

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff WedAway TeamPreston
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home16
Away4
Shots on Target
Home4
Away1
Corners
Home5
Away4
Fouls
Home22
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sheffield Wednesday 1, Preston North End 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sheffield Wednesday 1, Preston North End 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by George Boyd (Sheffield Wednesday).

  4. Post update

    Darnell Fisher (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Michael Hector.

  6. Booking

    Atdhe Nuhiu (Sheffield Wednesday) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Atdhe Nuhiu (Sheffield Wednesday).

  8. Post update

    Darnell Fisher (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Lucas João (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Darnell Fisher (Preston North End).

  11. Post update

    Foul by Atdhe Nuhiu (Sheffield Wednesday).

  12. Post update

    Paul Huntington (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Alan Browne (Preston North End).

  15. Post update

    Hand ball by Atdhe Nuhiu (Sheffield Wednesday).

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. George Boyd replaces Marco Matias.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Liam Palmer (Sheffield Wednesday).

  18. Post update

    Tom Barkhuizen (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Joey Pelupessy (Sheffield Wednesday).

  20. Post update

    Graham Burke (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich23145441261547
2Leeds22136336181845
3West Brom23126550311942
4Middlesbrough2310942516939
5Derby2311663225739
6Sheff Utd2311573627938
7Nottm Forest2381143223935
8Birmingham2381053527834
9Stoke2381053027334
10QPR2310492832-434
11Aston Villa228954334933
12Swansea239592927232
13Bristol City238782827131
14Blackburn2371062934-531
15Preston237793538-328
16Hull2376102632-627
17Sheff Wed2376102940-1127
18Brentford2367103434025
19Wigan2374122333-1025
20Rotherham2341092237-1522
21Reading2347122736-919
22Millwall2347122839-1119
23Bolton2346131531-1618
24Ipswich2329121938-1915
View full Championship table

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