Bullen key to life after Steve Bruce, says former Sheffield Wednesday defender

Former Sheffield Wednesday defender Jon Newsome believes staff members who at the club prior to Steve Bruce’s dwindling reign as manager are the key to a transition to life after it.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 17:14 pm
Updated Monday, 15th July 2019, 17:14 pm
Jon Newsome believes Lee Bullen is key to a smooth transitional period as Sheffield Wednesday prepare for life after Steve Bruce.

The lifelong Owl, who spent six seasons at the club across two spells, says the likes of Lee Bullen, Steve Haslam and Neil Thompson will have to work hard to keep the club on track during what he described as a ‘good-looking’ pre-season so far.

With compensation negotiations between the two clubs reportedly nearing completion, Newsome said the time is now for the squad to remain focused and professional.

Bullen is expected to take charge of the team as they make the trip to take on League Two Northampton tomorrow evening.

“In my experience, players will take any excuse they can get,” he said, “it depends whether you offer it to them.

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“There are only three weeks to go now until the season, so it’s so important the club get this transition right, get the right man in and carry on the good work that has been put in over the last few months.”

It is understood that coaches Stephen Clemence and Steve Agnew, who arrived at Wednesday with Bruce in February, are to follow him north once a compensation package is signed off, leaving a hole in the club likely to be filled – in the short term at least – by existing staff members.

Newsome said: “It is unsettling for them, but if you look at the likes of Lee Bullen with what he’s done in the past, he’s done a really decent job and I’m sure he’ll be able to keep the wheels rolling.

“It’s the same with Steve [Haslam] and Neil Thompson. No football club revolves around one man and those guys will keep the club moving forward.

“It’s important for them and the team that this doesn’t become a long, drawn-out matter. The club needs to move on and get the right man in to replace Bruce.”

And there was one name on his lips when talking about the 58-year-old’s replacement.

“They can go down the one route that I think they should take – get someone experienced in that knows the league and can get them out of it,” he said.

“It’s about carrying on the work that Bruce has done. I’ve seen Chris Hughton mentioned as one name, he’d be a good one that’s got clubs up before.

“If you look into his history, the clubs he’s worked with have got nothing but good things to say about him, he seems a good man and that’s important.

“He may not be famous for playing the most exciting brand of football, but he’s been successful everywhere he’s gone.”