Keiren Westwood calls on Sheffield Wednesday to prove the doubters wrong

Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood says Sheffield Wednesday are determined to silence their critics this season.

Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 1:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 11:17 pm

The Owls, without a permanent manager following Steve Bruce's controversial departure in mid-July, were tipped to finish bottom of the Championship in a Sky Sports readers vote last week.

But despite the club's well-documented off-the-field problems over the summer, Wednesday kicked off their 2019/20 campaign with an impressive win against Reading.

Westwood, who was sent off late on in the Owls' 3-1 success at the Madejski Stadium, told The Star: "To win on the opening day was great but it is important not to get carried away.

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Owls goalkeeper Keiren Westwood was shown his marching orders at Reading

"I think I was reading that Sky Sports had us down to finish bottom of the league so we have got a few people to prove wrong this season.

"People are entitled to their opinions and that is what football is all about. You cannot control what people want to say.

"The only thing we can do is control what we do individually and collectively as a team.

"We know we are doing things the right way and we managed to get a great away win to start the season."

The Owls prevailed in Berkshire after goals from debutant Kadeem Harris, Sam Hutchinson and Lucas Joao, who has sinced joined Reading for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £5m.

"We played really well and deserved the win," said Westwood. "We defended well and everybody put their bodies on the line."

The experienced shot-stopper will serve a one-match suspension when Wednesday host South Yorkshire neighbours Barnsley this weekend.

On his Reading dismissal, Westwood said: "Personally, I thought I played okay for 80 minutes and then I got myself sent off.

"I am frustrated and very disappointed with the red card but I am glad it did not cost us the result.

"If we had ended up drawing the game, I would have been a little more enraged. I'm just happy we got the win and made a great start to the season."

After Westwood's red card, Wednesday showed plenty of grit and togetherness to grind out a result in their league opener.

Caretaker boss Lee Bullen has done a good job in steadying the ship following Bruce's acrimonious departure.Westwood said: "It has not been ideal losing our manager but these things happen in football.

"It is not the first time and it will not be the last time that a manager leaves a football club.

"But we have a lot of professional lads and the team spirit is great here. Everyone has rallied around and Bully [Lee Bullen] has done great. Everyone is delighted for him.

"Bully has been here a long time - longer than I have and I have been here six years - and he has done great. I am delighted for him and everybody involved that we managed to start the season with a win because there is still a lot of uncertainty at the club."