Cameron Dawson vows to fight for Sheffield Wednesday starting spot

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Losing the Owls number one jersey hit Cameron Dawson hard.

Just hours after Jos Luhukay lost his job as manager, Lee Bullen visited Dawson at his family home to inform him face-to-face that Keiren Westwood would be starting against Preston North End.

Cameron Dawson has lost the No 1 jersey to Sheffield Wednesday teammate Keiren Westwood

Cameron Dawson has lost the No 1 jersey to Sheffield Wednesday teammate Keiren Westwood

Dawson dropped to the bench as veteran shot-stopper Westwood helped Wednesday's leaky rearguard record a rare clean sheet

"I respect that he [Bullen] came to see me, knock on my door and front up the decision," Dawson told The Star.

"It was tough (to accept). It is not nice when someone comes to tell you that you are not in the team when you have played every single game of the season.

"It was a big blow but I got my head around it. Looking back now, coming out of the team was not the end of the world.

Dawson vows to regain No 1 spot

Dawson vows to regain No 1 spot

"It made me take a little step back, reassess and go again."

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After not being involved against Preston and Middlesbrough, the academy graduate returned to action at West Bromwich Albion after Westwood was ruled out.

But Westwood quickly shrugged off a minor knock and has continued to be given the nod in the Championship.

Dawson recorded a clean sheet against Luton Town on Tuesday

Dawson recorded a clean sheet against Luton Town on Tuesday

Dawson, meanwhile, has featured in the FA Cup, keeping shut-outs in the two meetings with Luton Town.

He said: "I have worked really hard in training and in the gym to get back into the team.

"I have grafted and showed that fight that I want to be back out there and that is what I have tried to do.

"You realise how much something means to you when you have it taken away. Playing out there with this (Wednesday) badge on my chest means an awful lot to me and that is that."

Being left out has toughened Dawson up.

"Everything I have been through in this half of the season has made me stronger," said Dawson. "I have had ups and downs from the Norwich game to the Bramall Lane match.

"You have to keep your emotions on a level in football.

"Obviously, I have stepped out of it for a bit but I'm really working hard to get back to where I want to get to."

He excelled in the midweek triumph at Kenilworth Road, pulling off a string of impressive saves in the second half to ensure Wednesday progressed into the fourth round of the competition.

"I was delighted about keeping two clean sheets in the two games but it was not about proving a point for me," insisted Dawson. "It was about focusing on my business and doing what I can do.

"I didn't have a lot to do in the first leg but it was nice to contribute in the second game. We were under the cost at times. One nil away from home is the best scenario for a goalkeeper.

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"I try to have a positive mindset and go out and put in positive performances. That is what I have tried to do since coming out of the team.

"I have been delighted with my personal performances in the WBA and Luton games. It was nice to be back out on the pitch and playing."

Westwood may have re-established himself as Wednesday's No 1 over the festive and New Year period, but Dawson is a man on a mission.

Dawson said: "I'm just desperate to play football. 

“I have been quite fortunate to play in many games in the first half of the season and that for me is the main thing. I want to play as many games as possible and make sure I’m available for every single game to be selected and then it’s up to the people that select.”

Wednesday are spoilt for choice in the goalkeeping department, with Westwood, Dawson and Joe Wildsmith vying for one place.

“We have got three goalies that want to play and that’s a battle of course,” admitted Dawson. “Westy has come back in and done well so credit to him but we will keep going and keep fighting and leave the manager with a decision to make.”

Manager Steve Bruce officially takes charge of the Owls on February 1. But the four-time promotion winner briefly met his new squad a couple of weeks ago and promised to wipe the slate clean.

Dawson said: "His career speaks for itself. He will come in and have the respect of the boys straight away. Hopefully we can put a few wins on the board before he comes in. It makes his job a lot easier when to come into a winning side.”