Best of British: How Steve Bruce has brought a familiar mentality back to Sheffield Wednesday
Steve Bruce has brought pragmatism and simplicity back to Sheffield Wednesday which will benefit them if they are to mount a promotion challenge next season, according to Owls coach Lee Bullen.
The Wednesday assistant, who was interim chief after Jos Luhukay’s sacking, says the return of a British manager at Hillsborough helped smooth the transition at a turbulent time for the Owls.
Bruce’s ability to steady the ship at Wednesday meant a late play-off push last season, and Bullen says it was the four-time promotion winner’s familiar coaching style that made things click quickly in S6.
He told The Star: "It has been great. It has been very, very easy to settle into.
"For someone like myself who has worked under a Paul Sturrock or a Brian Laws, it's back to that sort of British mentality after three years of great education for me working under Carlos and Jos.
“It is back to something that is probably a little bit more familiar to the way I was brought up as a player.
"I think the players are latching on to that and learning from it. Even the foreign players are buying into it from Joey [Pelupessy], Lucas [Joao] and Atdhe [Nuhiu].
“They understand where the gaffer is coming from and he is trying to keep the building blocks very simple so that the players can quickly grasp it and that's what you are looking for.”
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The Owls boss now has a full summer of business and pre-season to refine his philosophy at the club, but Bullen says the signs are encouraging after the short-term impacts since Bruce’s February takeover.
“You are looking for that simplicity from a head coach that is great for the players,” Bullen said.
"When he initially came in, it was all about making sure we moved away from near the bottom of the league.
“We were pragmatic for two to three games under Aggers and I.
"He came in with three months left of the season so he can't come in with a brush and then suddenly we are going to play like Manchester City and play with hundreds of different patterns of play.”
Whether the next portion of the Bruce era will feature a different style of play is yet to be seen but it will all become clear soon with pre-season friendlies already lined up against Lincoln, Stocksbridge Park Steels and Northampton Town in July.