Darren Moore explains Keiren Westwood decision ahead of Sheffield Wednesday’s Bristol City clash
All eyes were on Keiren Westwood this week after he return to the Sheffield Wednesday starting XI, and Darren Moore explained why he chose to replace Joe Wildsmith.
The Owls were beaten 2-0 by Swansea City on Tuesday night in Moore’s first game back following his absence due to a positive COVID-19 test, and one of the biggest talking points was his decision to put Westwood back between the sticks.
Wildsmith came in for criticism after the 4-1 defeat to Queens Park Rangers, with many expressing the opinion that he could’ve done better with at least one of the goals, and there were calls for his experienced teammate to return.
Wednesday have three goalkeepers – Westwood, Wildsmith and Cameron Dawson – with at least eight Championship appearances to their name this season, and in total there are five that have made the matchday squad on at least one occasion – including youngsters Luke Jackson and Josh Render.
Since his arrival, though, it has been just the two of them battling it out for the number one spot, and Moore says that he and his technical team felt that Westwood’s experience was required against the Swans – hence the decision to replace Wildsmith in the XI.
Speaking to The Star earlier this week, the Owls boss said, “What Westy has done is recover from the injury, so I just thought to myself about getting him back in there because he’s got that experience. I just thought it was right in terms of this game – so we brought him back in.
“Joe has done superb, we feel we’ve got two goalkeepers competing there, and we just chose to go with Westy for this one.”
It remains to be seen whether Cameron Dawson will be back in contention at all before the current season comes to an end, while Jackson and Render are probably seen as prospects for the future rather than the here and now.
Next up for Wednesday is a visit from Nigel Pearson’s Bristol City on Saturday, and it’s likely that Moore will opt for experience again as they desperately search for a return to winning ways at Hillsborough.