Tony Pulis remains without a victory as Sheffield Wednesday manager after a goalless draw against the side at which he has enjoyed the most success in his career, Stoke City.
He has never lost against his old team but he is also yet to win with his latest one after three matches, with a first clean sheet not enough to prevent a second successive draw after a tie at Swansea City three days earlier.
On the game
It was not an afternoon for free-flowing action at Hillsborough, with Wednesday doing going a good job of frustrating their opponents but doing little to trouble at the other end of the pitch, failing to register a single shot on target.
Pulis was quick to defend his side after the game, however, insisting he is largely satisfied with his first set of matches in charge while acknowledging the need for improvement.
“I’ve been in charge for three games and the players’ attitude has been absolutely first class,” he said. “The Preston game I don’t think we lose with 11 players on the pitch. The first half against Swansea we played well without creating too many chances. And then today we were solid against, lets be fair, a very good side.
“For sure there are areas that we need to address. But the more you stay in a game, the more chance you have.”
On his attack
Under his management, Wednesday have scored only one goal in three games, while stretching back into Garry Monk’s reign too it is a dire tally of two goals in eight.
Asked what the team were missing in the final third, Pulis said: “Confidence more than anything else. The disappointing thing is that in training they’re very good.
“They should have gleaned a lot of confidence from the Swansea game, they played some really good stuff. We had three or four of the players at Swansea who were prepared to get on the ball and just move the ball and play throughout the pitch, but Barry (Bannan) was the only one today who settled us down.
“I don’t think either team created enough chances. We restricted them at our end but the problem the football club has got this season is at the other end of the pitch.”
On Kadeem Harris
One player who stood out more than most was Kadeem Harris, who made some dangerous runs on the right wing having been given more freedom further than the flank than under Monk’s tenure, when he featured predominantly as a wing-back.
“Kaz on the left-hand side looked our only threat really,” reflected Pulis. “We need more like him. We need more threat if we’re going to win football matches.
“Kadeem was a threat today and we need more threats in the final third and more quality in midfield.”
On Jordan Rhodes
It was a much less successful afternoon for striker Jordan Rhodes who, after cutting an isolated figure in a rare start at Swansea in midweek, was dropped to the bench against Stoke, came on at half-time and then was substituted back off again with five minutes left to play.
Pulis defended the decision, saying: “It was for the team. I thought they team would benefit from that change. You do it sometimes; it’s not the first time I’ve done it and it won’t be the last.
“If the game has spun around in a different way, it’s not about Jordan but the team. We all have egos and pride, and Jordan will be disappointed.”