Sheffield Wednesday: Keiren Westwood talks niggly injuries and Owls work ethic
Keiren Westwood admits he has felt a great deal of frustration that his season has been peppered by injury-related absences.
The Republic of Ireland international was at his brilliant best to help Sheffield Wednesday to a draw at Derby County on Saturday – just as he was last season when he was the guiding light in a brilliant campaign for the Owls defensively.
Last season he missed just two league games, one through suspension and the other as he sat out the final game at Watford.
This season he has missed 11, all through injury, none serious enough to bring anything other than frustration from him.
“I missed those ten games and the frustration was the biggest thing,” he said.
“It’s been just a few niggly injuries but they were niggly.
“I had a tear in my thigh and you’ve got to let things like that heal or you could miss more games.
“I’ve really enjoyed myself here. I’ve had two different managers but things haven’t changed for me.
“The most disappointing thing was probably missing ten games or so.
“If I hadn’t missed ten games it’d probably have been different.”
Westwood was named in the PFA team of the season last year as he helped Wednesday equal a club record of 17 clean sheets for a single campaign.
It was a season when the Owls were as resolute as they came in the Championship but were found wanting in front of goal on far too many occasions which blunted any attempt to compete at the top end of the division.
The difference in attack has been stark this season but Westwood insists the work ethic built last season has been equally as important in Wednesday’s success so far this term.
He said: “We have built on what we did last season.
“I think the work ethic we put in last year, we were really hard to beat.
“We’re the same again but we’ve got a bit more attacking threat with the likes of Gary Hooper, Fernando Forestieri and the others.
“The lads work incredibly hard from the front all the way to the back.
“And you can have all the quality in the world but if there’s no chemistry on the pitch, it’s different.
“To a man at Derby you couldn’t put anyone down. Everyone grafted has hard as they could for 90 minutes.
“It’s a recipe for goodness really and we’ve got that quality to score goals.
“It’s going to be a lottery if we make the play-offs but I know this team with give everything for each other.”