Sheffield Wednesday interim boss Lee Bullen delivers upbeat message ahead of Reading opener

There will be no Churchillian-type speeches from Lee Bullen in the away changing room ahead of Wednesday's season opener against Reading.

Friday, 2nd August 2019, 12:58 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd August 2019, 6:43 pm

His team-talk will be simple and straight to the point on Saturday afternoon at the Madejski Stadium.

"I will tell the lads to remember the hard work you have put into your legs in pre-season," the Owls' caretaker manager told The Star. "Remember the hard work you have done and go out and play with a smile on your face. That's it. Simple.

"If they are playing with a smile on their face, they are playing to the best of their abilities and enjoying themselves.

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Owls caretaker boss Lee Bullen

"If they do that, we won't be far away against most teams in this league."

Wednesday, without a permanent boss after Steve Bruce controversially walked out to become Newcastle United's head coach last month, recorded four wins and a draw from their six pre-season friendlies.

And former Owls centre-half Bullen sees no reason why they can't get off to a strong start.

Bullen said: "I am confident from what I have seen in pre-season.

"But the first game of the season can kick you in the teeth or it can give you a lift when you feel you have not had a good pre-season.

"We are fully confident and the players have enjoyed pre-season and they feel the benefits of the work they have put into it. They are ready to go as I'm sure the Reading players are as well."

The Scot will be without the services of goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith (knee) and Dominic Iorfa (suspension) when they travel to Berkshire this weekend. He has Fernando Forestieri available for selection but Steven Fletcher is expected to lead the attack.

A positive result at Reading could boost Bullen's chances of landing the manager's job on a permanent basis.

"Results dictate a lot," he said. "My job at the moment is to head down to Reading and for us to hopefully put in a good performance and hopefully get three points.

"That's all I am focusing on at the moment. The manager's job is not even in my head."