Owls monitor Keiren

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Owls number one Keiren Westwood has been forced to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad for their double-header against Scotland and USA due to a hip injury.

The goalkeeper was initially named in the 36-man provisional squad to take on Scotland in a European Championship 2016 qualifier this Friday and a friendly with USA next week.

But Westwood, who has produced a string of fine performances since moving to Hillsborough in the summer, has not linked up with Martin O’Neill’s side because of a hip knock which has troubled him in recent weeks. Westwood was unlikely to start for the Irish as O’Neill has preferred Millwall’s David Forde in between the sticks.

The Star understands Westwood’s injury is a minor problem and is unlikely to prevent him from starting versus Huddersfield Town after the two-week international break.

Westwood, formerly of Carlisle United and Coventry City, recorded his eighth clean sheet of the campaign in Saturday’s goalless draw with Rotherham United. Although the point moved Sheffield Wednesday up to 13th in the Championship, they have now gone 10 matches without a win, heaping more pressure on head coach Stuart Gray.

Owls Under-21s lost 1-0 at home to Burnley in a friendly at Middlewood Road yesterday. The visitors fielded a strong side and triumphed thanks to a superb strike by Ashley Barnes, who was their matchwinner against Hull City last weekend.