Sheffield Wednesday: 'I know Keiren Westwood and all the players appreciate the support that we have' - Garry Monk defends Owls star after he stormed down tunnel after West Bromwich Albion defeat

Owls boss Garry Monk has leapt to the defence of Keiren Westwood after the goalkeeper walked straight down the tunnel following their gut-wrenching defeat to leaders West Bromwich Albion.

Sunday, 24th November 2019, 11:48 pm

Westwood cut a visibly frustrated figure after conceding a late penalty in Wednesday's 2-1 loss at The Hawthorns. The 35-year-old was penalised for bringing down Matheus Pereira in the 88th minute and striker Charlie Austin coolly rifled home the resulting spot-kick.

But immediately after the full-time whistle, Westwood trudged off down the tunnel back to the away dressing room without acknowledging the travelling fans while the rest of his team-mates went to thank the away end for their vocal backing. Some supporters booed Westwood's snub.

Monk said he was unaware of the incident but told The Star: "I know that Keiren and all the players appreciate the support that we have got.

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Despair for Owls keeper Keiren Westwood after another late goal denies Wednesday a point

"You could see how hard we tried to give the travelling fans the result that they wanted and we wanted.

"As disappointed as we feel right now, we have got to stick together and understand that we have got a good team.

"If we continue to perform like that, results will turn for us."

Monk was unhappy with Wednesday's defending in the build-up to Westwood giving the penalty away.

"We just didn't deal with the first phase - it was a simple kick from the goalkeeper," he said. "I know their player [Austin] was offside and they were thinking about that but you have to go and deal with that whilst you are appealing it.

"There was nothing wrong with the appeal but you have to go and still deal with the situation and make a simple header.

"We didn't do that and there was the individual mistake that then led on to Westy coming out.

"The performance was exactly where we need it to be, especially in the second half when we were the best team and dominated a very good side without getting the right rewards.

"It's down to individual mistakes and, unfortunately for us, we've been punished very heavily for it."

The Owls chief will have to make one enforced change to his defence when they entertain his old club Birmingham City on Wednesday night, with Liam Palmer set to begin a three-match suspension after his red card at The Hawthorns.