Animated Jos Luhukay calls on Sheffield Wednesday fans to get behind Cameron Dawson

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Boss Jos Luhukay has pleaded with Wednesday's supporters to get behind goalkeeper Cameron Dawson as the Championship club search for their first league clean sheet of the season.

An animated Luhukay launched an impassioned defence of Dawson at his pre-match press conference ahead of tonight's Sheffield derby at Bramall Lane.

Academy graduate Dawson was handed the No 1 jersey after impressing Luhukay at the back end of the 2017/18 campaign and in pre-season.

But despite Dawson's best efforts, the 23-year-old has not kept a Championship clean sheet in 16 attempts.

Some Owls fans chanted for out-of-favour shot-stopper Keiren Westwood, who has never played under Luhukay, to be recalled to the team in the second half of Saturday's humiliating 4-0 defeat to Norwich City.

However, Luhukay, who is under growing pressure from a large section of the Owls fan-base after overseeing four consecutive defeats, has urged Wednesday's supporters to stick with Dawson.

Dawson has made 16 Championship appearances this season

Dawson has made 16 Championship appearances this season

"Cammy is a young goalkeeper and he plays for the first time this season his games," Luhukay told the Star. "Questions come from outside about him, Keiren Westwood and Joe Wildsmith.

"Give this person (Dawson) a lot of confidence, trust and also give him the respect that he needs and deserves.

"I stay 100 per cent behind him and he deserves that. He works unbelievably hard in training. He was not the worst player in the games that we now lose.

"He has not made the mistakes in the goals that we have conceded. He is 23 so give him respect.

Dawson saved a first half penalty last week

Dawson saved a first half penalty last week

"I know fans look to results and I too look at results but we are the same people, goalkeeper and coach.

"What was before positive, now everything is negative.

"What we must do is deal with that."

Dawson saved a first half penalty against the Canaries but he was at fault for the visitors fourth goal.

But Dawson atoned for his error, making a string of superb saves to prevent Norwich from winning by an even bigger margin. 

"We beat Norwich 5-1 a few months ago because we were effective and every chance we created was a goal," said Luhukay.

"But in the first half (last weekend), we didn't take our chances and then in the second they scored every chance they created in an 11 minute period.

"After that, Cammy was not at the bottom. He didn't give up and kept on believing in himself.

"After that, he had three, four, five, six, seven saves. The team have seen that (in the clips) and also Cammy.

"He has the confidence and there was only one goal where you could say it was not a lucky shot but you see it (mistakes) every week in the Premier League at the highest level.

"He did a good job last Saturday. It's not that I will protect him but people must also give him respect.

"Four weeks ago, everyone was happy when we playing young players and giving academy players chances.

"There is no player who plays every game at their best and highest level."

The Dutchman confirmed Dawson will start in goal when Wednesday take on third-placed United.

Luhukay said: "He (Cammy) gets 100 per cent support from me and I'm sure he will play a very good game (against United).

"When I'm not sure of that, I must change him.

"I will not do that while he deserves to play. I hope he gives us a lot of stability (against United)."

Luhukay, who has indicated Fernando Forestieri and Marco Matias could be involved against United after recovering from hamstring injuries, expects a strong response from his players at Bramall Lane.

"We have spoken about the goals we conceded in the second half against Norwich,” he said. "It was a disaster for us giving away three goals in 11 minutes. We let the playe rs also see the clips and what they thought about it and how we can do better.” 

“I have said many times this team has a good mentality and character,” he added. "You need results in football. When you don't have the results, it is not so easy to have the mental strength to come to success and win the next game.”