Ups and downs '“ Four points of note from Sheffield Wednesday's 1-0 victory over Preston North End

A second-half header from Michael Hector gave Sheffield Wednesday a narrow victory over mid-table Preston North End at Hillsborough

Saturday, 22nd December 2018, 10:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 3:55 pm
Keiren Westwood was back in action at Hillsborough

Owls writer Dom Howson picked out four talking points from the Championship clash.

 

Keiren Westwood was back in action at Hillsborough

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Lee Bullen's a class act

The Scot was asked to take the team at short notice and he made a number of big, brave decisions. He recalled a trio of experienced players frozen out under Jos Luhukay. Keiren Westwood started in place of Cameron Dawson in goal, with midfielder duo Sam Hutchinson and George Boyd named on the bench. His selection calls were vindicated as the Owls claimed maximum points. Bullen, a humble honest man, also showed good man-management skills by personally informing Dawson of his decision to recall Westwood.

The return of the exiled players

The Hillsborough crowd fed off Bullen's decision to recall crowd favourites Westwood and Hutchinson. There was a buzz around the place and big cheers around the ground when Westwood and Hutchinson's names were read out before kick-off. Westwood had a relatively quiet afternoon and it was good to see Hutchinson and Boyd get some game time late on.

Sheffield Wednesday forward Marco Matias

A rare clean sheet 

Wednesday marked the halfway point in the campaign by recording just their third league shut out. The Owls have the worst defensive record in the division, having shipped in 40 goals in 23 matches. But Wednesday looked much tougher to break down on Saturday. Preston caused them few problems before or after midfielder Ben Pearson's red card.

They need to be more ruthless

Caretaker Wednesday boss Lee Bullen

If Wednesday are to pick up positive results from their forthcoming away double-header with promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion, it is vital they add a cutting edge to their game. One goal proved enough to see off Preston but Steven Fletcher (2), Lucas Joao and Marco Matias could have done better with their opportunities either side of half-time. 

 

Sheffield Wednesday defender Morgan Fox