Sheffield Wednesday: Garry Monk on the 'difficult' decision to drop back-up keeper for Yorkshire derby

Garry Monk’s decision to reinstate Keiren Westwood in the Sheffield Wednesday side last weekend was not as cut and dry as some might think.

Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 8:30 am
Keiren Westwood (right) played a starring role in Wednesday's 0-0 draw alongside stand-in centre half Sam Hutchinson

That’s according to the Sheffield Wednesday manager himself, who brought his number one back into the fold after two games out with an ankle injury suffered in the warm-up for the 1-1 draw at Cardiff City.

Monk had made it clear as late as Thursday that a decision on his preferred goalkeeper had not been made after Dawson’s impressive performances in Westwood’s absence.

Dawson watched on as his rival produced a classy save to deny the head of Leeds’ Patrick Bamford in the first half of Saturday’s Yorkshire derby.

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Monk said: “It was a fantastic save, and that’s what he’s there for.

“Cameron did one or two in the games he’s been in and one that was quite similar right at the end against Stoke, a reflex one. Very good.

“It was a difficult decision, I’ll make no bones about it. But that’s what the squad is there for. You have to pick from that squad, it can be difficult but that’s my job. It was a tough call. Westy did fantastic.”

The stopper was one of two changes made by Monk as the Owls made a switch back to 4-4-2, bringing Atdhe Nuhiu back into the side alongside Steven Fletcher up front in a physical front two.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk admitted there was competition in the goalkeeping stakes for his side

Speaking after the game the 40-year-old former Whites boss suggested he had got the wood over Bielsa’s Leeds, having beaten them twice last season with Birmingham.

Monk praised the ability of his players to make that tactical switch, which he believed paid dividends as Leeds struggled to cope with Wednesday physicality. He said: “Atdhe did great, he did very well.

“We know what Atdhe can help us with and you saw that in the second half especially. I thought we dominated that situation [up front] in that second period.

“It was another good performance, another clean sheet and even though we had a couple of moments to suffer, that was the minimum we deserved, a point. If any team deserved to win it was us.”