Sheffield Wednesday: Owls equipped to handle expectation levels, says Westwood

Owls keeper Keiren Westwood
Owls keeper Keiren Westwood
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Player of the season Keiren Westwood is confident Sheffield Wednesday can handle the growing expectation levels around Hillsborough.

Player of the season Keiren Westwood is confident Sheffield Wednesday can handle the growing expectation levels around Hillsborough.

There is plenty of optimism among Wednesdayites following Dejphon Chansiri’s takeover, with the Thai businessman insisting he will “spend whatever is necessary” in the transfer market to ensure the Owls get back into the Premier League by 2017.

It promises to be one of the most intriguing and important summers in the club’s recent history as Chansiri seeks to give head coach Stuart Gray the tools to turn them into credible promotion contenders.

As part of the rebuilding process, Wednesday released 11 players earlier this week, including long-serving defender Lewis Buxton, Joe Mattock and Jacques Maghoma. Only 12 members of Gray’s first-team squad remain under contract for next season, although the Owls have offered fresh terms to Chris Kirkland, captain Glenn Loovens, Kieran Lee, Jose Semedo and Chris Maguire. Nonetheless, Gray is expected to be active when the transfer window re-opens this summer.

“We are going to have to get used to coping with the expectation and I’m sure everyone here will be able to deal with it,” Westwood, who recorded 17 clean sheets in the 2014/15 season, told The Star. “We all want to get promoted and play in the promised land. Everyone will be fighting for the same cause.”

Westwood, arguably the best signing of Gray’s reign, expects the Championship to be a “tough division” next year.

He added: “At the start of the season, everyone tries to make the play-offs. If you get on a good run, you can make it. If you go on a bad run, you could relegated. It is all about consistency.”

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