Owls should hand Bullen permanent chance
Lee Bullen has done his chances of being named the new permanent manager of Sheffield Wednesday no harm after an impressive start to the season.
The Owls’ pre-season preparations were thrown into turmoil when Steve Bruce opted to step down as manager and take over at Premier League outfit Newcastle.
Bruce took right-hand men Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence with him to St James’ Park and with less than three weeks to go until the start of the new season, Wednesday supporters must have been left scratching their heads.
However, one member of Bruce’s backroom team did remain at Hillsborough and that was former Owls defender Bullen, who was quickly appointed as boss on an interim basis.
The 48-year-old was no stranger to the role, having stepped into the breach twice before, with his reputation among supporters having already been made following a successful four-year spell as a player with the club during the noughties.
At that stage, it was not clear whether Bullen would remain in charge for the start of the season and he was, therefore unable to sign any new recruits until the eve of the campaign, when he brought in Jacob Murphy and David Bates on loan and added midfielder Massimo Luongo on a permanent deal.
Despite that late upheaval and the continued uncertainty surrounding the club, Wednesday have enjoyed a successful start to the season, winning three of their opening four games, with Tuesday night’s 1-0 triumph over Luton seeing them move to the top of the Championship standings on a temporary basis at least.
Bullen could hardly do more to stake his claim for taking over as manager on a permanent basis and he is the odds-on favourite to be named Bruce’s successor.
However, Wednesday are yet to offer him the job and perhaps that would suggest they are reluctant to give him a permanent chance and would perhaps prefer a bigger name.
Preston boss Alex Neil is the latest person to be linked with the role and ironically Wednesday will travel to Deepdale to take on the Scot’s current team on Saturday.
Former England international Sol Campbell is also believed to be in the running after leaving League Two Macclesfield with his reputation enhanced last week, but surely Wednesday would be better served to stick with Bullen, who knows the club and clearly has the respect of the squad given their performances under his management.