Sheffield Wednesday: Joe Wildsmith sets his sights on reclaiming the Owls number one spot

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Joe Wildsmith has vowed to knuckle down and reclaim the number one jersey.

The talented shot-stopper has slipped behind close pal and fellow academy graduate Cameron Dawson in the pecking order for a starting berth. Dawson has started both Championship matches this season.

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However, Wildsmith will play in goal in their first round Carabao Cup tie at Sunderland tonight.

Asked if it was a shock to not kick off the campaign in between the sticks, Wildsmith told The Star: "Obviously, I was extremely disappointed. Any other human being would be.

"But he [Jos Luhukay] did explain it was up for grabs and no-one was the number one as such. After pre-season, he said he would decide and speak to us and that's what happened.

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"He explained why and went away and it was a tough couple of days. But I got my head around it and now need to push on again and work hard. That's all I can do."

Manager Luhukay has given his backing to Wildsmith and Dawson, leaving Republic of Ireland international Keiren Westwood out of his two matchday squads.

"I don't know what is going to happen in the future but I have got four years left (on my contract) and I will be here and fighting it out," stressed Wildsmith.

"Me, Cam and Westy all push each other in training. It's healthy competition.

"I have got this opportunity to show what I can do and have got to step up and take this opportunity. That is the only way to put my footprint into the gaffer's mind."

He insists his on-going battle with Dawson to play will have no knock on affect in their friendship.

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The 22-year-old said: "I have been here since I was 12 and I met Cam when I was 15 and we have been here ever since. Me and Cam were always going to be mates, but in this situation, it is a dog-eat-dog world in football. That is the way it is always going to be.

"Personalities between each other is never going to change and we are never going to be horrible to each other or anything like that.

"But obviously, we both know we are going for the same spot and Westy is in there as well. There's three keepers going for the same spot, there is going to be competition and hard work put in and training is great and we all get on well.

"There's banter and messing about; nothing changes just because we are all going for the same spot.

"Me and Cam will still go golfing on days off and hang about with each other. In football, nothing changes with that.

"We all together in it and will all back each other whoever is playing and work hard and support each other along the way."

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