Sheffield Wednesday: Owls academy graduate tipped for bright future

Goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith
Goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith
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It is testament to the progress Joe Wildsmith has made and the faith the Owls have in his ability that the club tied him down to a long-term deal in August.

Wednesday’s coaching staff have been delighted with the young goalkeeper’s development in recent years and see him as a big part of their long-term plans.

With first-choice goalkeeper Keiren Westwood ruled out of tomorrow’s encounter with Middlesbrough due to a groin problem, Wildsmith looks set to deputise for the second match running.

Should the academy graduate play, it will be the 21-year-old’s eighth appearance of the season.

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Head coach Carlos Carvalhal told The Star: “Joe is a fantastic goalkeeper and we believe in him a lot.

“We played him in the first year we arrived at 18-years-old in the first-team in important games. He has done very well all the time. If he carries on improving, I believe he will be the goalkeeper of the future at Sheffield Wednesday.”

Cameron Dawson returned to Hillsborough following his loan spell at Chesterfield earlier this week. The 22-year-old, who made two appearances for the Spireites, is expected to be on the bench versus Boro.

Daniel Pudil is likely to replace Morgan Fox, who was sent off against Wolverhampton Wanderers last week, at left-back.

Barry Bannan (groin) and Jack Hunt and Steven Fletcher (both knee) remain big injury doubts.

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The Owls entertain a Middlesbrough side who have lost their last three matches on the road.

Carvalhal said: “All of the games in the Championship are important. They (Middlesbrough) are not doing as well as they expect also. We are not far away from them. It will be a good challenge against a compact, solid team.

“They play completely different to Wolves but we have studied them. We have prepared very well for the game.

“We want to win and we know what we must do to open spaces and what we must do to score goals. I have good expectations for Saturday.”

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