Sheffield Wednesday keeper Cameron Dawson on Keiren Westwood, getting the nod as number one, clean sheets and his own form ahead of Middlesbrough clash

Sheffield Wednesday are hoping it will be 13th time lucky in their attempts to keep a clean sheet when they entertain promotion-chasing Middlesbrough.

Thursday, 18th October 2018, 4:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th October 2018, 4:48 pm
Dawson has been pleased with his form

The Owls, lying in sixth position after losing just one of their last nine league matches, are the only team in the Championship who have yet to keep a shut-out this season.

Shot-stopper Cameron Dawson said: "I would love one (a clean sheet). Absolutely love one.

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"Does it weigh on my mind? I wouldn't say so.

"I think the main thing is winning football games and challenging at the top end of the league.

"Are we going to need to keep clean sheets to stay up there? Of course we are.

"Will the clean sheets come? I think they will. I really think they will. We have been unlucky on a few occasions when you look at the Aston Villa and WBA games. WBA weren't in it until 85 minutes.

Dawson has been pleased with his form

"I think we have been unlucky but I think they will come. I'm not worried about it.

"It is not something that particularly bothers me, although no goalkeeper likes letting goals in.

"I'm sure they will come. I hope they will come sooner rather than later!

"They will come. Definitely."

Dawson has started every league match this season

Wednesday have a strong goalkeeping department, consisting of Dawson, Joe Wildsmith and Keiren Westwood.

Boss Jos Luhukay assessed his options over pre-season and decided to give the number one spot to academy graduate Dawson.

"It was massive for me," said Dawson. "That was a big moment in my career.

"It was something in the last couple of years I had been working towards. It was a big show of face by the manager.

"He sat me down and we discussed it and he told me I was going to be his number one and I would be playing. He had total confidence in me.

"He has stuck by that and been great with me ever since."

Luhukay's selection call polarised some sections of the Owls faithful.

Westwood, the man who held the jersey for three and a half seasons before suffering a long-term injury last December, is a fans favourite and has been a top servant for the club.

But the Republic of Ireland international, whose Wednesday contract runs out next summer, was publicly declared third-choice goalkeeper by Luhukay behind academy graduates Dawson and Wildsmith.

Dawson knew he had big shoes to fill.

He said: "I called this moment two years ago that whoever was going to follow Keiren Westwood into the Sheffield Wednesday goal was going to be in for a tough task because his record speaks for itself at this football club and elsewhere.

"He has been a top, top goalkeeper.

"Whoever (his replacement) was going to be was in for a tough task in general with the fans and everything.

"I was well aware of that.

"For me, you are playing for Sheffield Wednesday week in, week out. No matter who is doing what or what has happened before it is a massive football club.

"The pressure comes in itself by playing for Sheffield Wednesday so for me, it is a just case of working hard and trying to put performances in and concentrate on what the manager wants me to do. I have to keep working hard in the week and letting everything take care of itself."

The 23-year-old says is enjoying the pressure of being number one.

"It is tough," acknowledged Dawson. "It is a pressure playing for Sheffiel dWednesday. It is a big club and there are 25,000 in Hillsborough every week.

"No matter who it is whether it is me or someone who has played 400 league games, it's a pressure but it is something I really enjoy. I really enjoy stepping out there week in, week out.

"I keep looking to put performances in and keep doing well."

Although Wednesday have leaked 18 goals, Dawson has been satisfied with his own form.

He said: "I have been relatively happy. My honest opinion is that I fell under par in two games against Wigan and Leeds United.

"I have been pretty solid and tried to play in a certain way which we work on in the week.

"I'm not over critical of myself. I think, if you are a number one goalkeeper in the Championship, goals are going to go in the net and that's that.

"There are always things you can do different or little things you might have done differently.

"It is just a case of working hard and keeping the ball out of the net."

Tomorrow's assignment represents another chance for Dawson to break his clean sheet duck.