Defensive security and draw against Sheffield United gives Sheffield Wednesday ‘a chance to dream’

The dream is still alive for Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce after Monday night’s Steel City derby.

Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 1:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 1:22 pm
Owls boss Steve Bruce. Pic Steve Ellis.

Although neither side came away with the result they wanted, both Wednesday and the Blades also avoided the result they dreaded.

And vitally for the Owls, a point against their city rivals still keeps the play-off places within touching distance and gives Wednesdayites license to hope for a miraculous end to an otherwise turbulent campaign.

Owls boss Steve Bruce. Pic Steve Ellis.

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Reflecting on the stalemate against Chris Wilder’s side, Bruce told the Star: "Eight weeks ago we were conceding two every game so we have made sure we are difficult to beat and that is vitally important in the predicament we found ourselves in.

"It gives us a chance at what the Championship is and it gives us a chance to still not give up the dream.”

Both Wednesday and United had their share of the chances in testing conditions at Hillsborough, but neither could capitalise as both Sam Hutchinson and Gary Madine saw golden opportunities go astray as they tried to break the deadlock. 

Despite the identical scoreline to November’s Steel City derby, Bruce’s Sheffield Wednesday proved a sterner test for the Blades – with the Owls manager’s unbeaten record on the line against the promotion contenders. 

It was Bruce’s first Sheffield derby, even though he ended his playing career and started his managerial journey at United in 1998, and it was a match the Owls chief said he enjoyed thanks to the full-blooded nature of the test.

"I can't fault their attitude, as their manger,” he said.

"It's sturdy stuff. we're from Yorkshire and we go head to head and there were some fantastic challenges so you couldn't fault the commitment, but the lack of quality unfortunately from both sides was a lot to be desired.

"They have given me everything they have got and that was pretty evident today going toe-to-toe against a team that are at the top end of the division after all.

“There was nothing in it, with that respect we have now drawn four and won three out of the seven games and we won that one before, the lads have given me Wigan as well.

"Steve Aggers and Clem have given me that one too, so we're doing great. I've only been here a month but already they are showing a bit of resilience and I'm pleased with that.”

Wednesday’s next test will come against Frank Lampard’s Derby County on Saturday, before a mid-week trip to Bolton Wanderers.