What Steve Bruce reckons will be the key to Sheffield Wednesday picking up a positive result at Preston North End

If Sheffield Wednesday are to keep their slender play-off hopes alive, the Owls must do the "ugly" side of the game well when they face Preston North End tomorrow.

By dom.howson1
Friday, 26 April, 2019, 16:00

That is the opinion of Wednesday boss Steve Bruce as the Championship club finalise their preparations for the trip to Deepdale.

Three points and three places currently separate the Owls and Preston in the table.

Bruce, whose Wednesday team are four points adrift of sixth-placed Derby County with two matches remaining, told The Star: "We are going to have to compete well.

"We will have to do all the ugly things well because they (Preston) ask you a question. They put it into your box and are good at set pieces.

"They are a very, very good Championship team who I have a lot of respect for and what they have achieved.

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Owls chief Steve Bruce

"They have been there or thereabouts for five to six months and in Alex (Neil) they have got a very decent manager too."

Preston's Easter Monday defeat at Wigan Athletic killed off their lingering hopes of gatecrashing the top six. Neil's men enter their clash with Wednesday having lost five of their last six matches.

"They have had a bit of a bad run towards the end that you don't want," said Bruce. "Every club has had it.

"Alex and his team have done a terrific job. Whenever you go and play his Preston team now, you know you are in for a game.

"We are under no illusions that it is going to be difficult. They have been there or thereabouts for five to six months and just fallen short. They have got good players and a good team."