‘You never know’ – Sheffield Wednesday’s Keiren Westwood on promotion chances and clean sheet targets
Keiren Westwood is in the business of denying opposition strikers and this weekend’s Championship match against Reading will be no different for the Sheffield Wednesday man.
The goalkeeper will look to build on the Owls’ record of four clean sheets in seven when he faces up against a Reading side desperately in need of a win as they struggle at the bottom of the league table.
But it is up, rather than down, that the Republic of Ireland international is looking as Wednesday hope to draw inspiration from Yorkshire rivals Hull City and mount a late bid for the play-offs.
“It’s going to be tough, but you never know,” Westwood said. “Hull are flying and they came out of nowhere.
“You just have to keep winning, we can’t afford too many defeats if we are even going to challenge.
“But my aim would just be to get up the table. We are 16th, it’s not great, but things have turned around massively since December.”
Westwood returned to the first team following the departure of Jos Luhukay over the festive period, and the Owls shot stopper has more clean sheets in his sights for the remainder of the campaign.
“It’s gone well, but long may it continue. We can’t get carried away with seven games, we have to do it over the next 17 games.
“I have not looked too far ahead, let’s just try and get in the top half first.”
Although Westwood’s season didn’t start until his return to the Owls first team against Preston under caretaker manager Lee Bullen, his memories of the game are fond ones.
"It was really emotional,” he said. “I got the phone call on the Friday off Lee Bullen, and he said ‘do you fancy a game?’
“It worked out great, we won 1-0, and the reception from the fans was great. I can’t thank them enough for that.
“It’s been really positive since I came back in, and not just me, George Boyd and Sam Hutchinson too. It feels like three new signings, because we haven’t been around.
“It’s always been great, even when I wasn’t playing, I have never been one to blame another goalkeeper.
“I have always tried to do my bit, and if my bit is being on the bench, then you have a different role to try and help the goalkeeper. In the goalkeeping union, everyone is the same.”