Sheffield Wednesday: Owls coach leaps to the defence of Cameron Dawson

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Nicky Weaver has leapt to the defence of Cameron Dawson, insisting the criticism of the Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper has been "unfair" this season.

The Owls have the joint worst defensive record in the Championship, having shipped in 30 goals in 16 matches.

Nicky Weaver with Cameron Dawson

Nicky Weaver with Cameron Dawson

Academy graduate Dawson, handed the No 1 jersey at the beginning of the season over Joe Wildsmith and Keiren Westwood, has not recorded a shut out.

The rookie shot-stopper endured a mixed afternoon in Saturday's 4-0 home drubbing to Norwich City. Although he kept out a sixth minute penalty, Dawson was at fault for Norwich's fourth goal, with Mario Vrancic seizing on his poor clearance and slipping in substitute Dennis Srbeny, who completed the rout.

Dawson atoned for his error late on, pulling off a string of fine saves to thwart Srbeny, Onel Hernandez and Marco Stiepermann.

But some Wednesdayites chanted for out-of-favour star Westwood to be recalled to the team.

Cameron Dawson has not kept a clean sheet this season

Cameron Dawson has not kept a clean sheet this season

Speaking before the Norwich hammering, Weaver, the Owls' first-team goalkeeping coach, told The Star: "There has been a lot of attention on Cammy and I think he has dealt with it really well.

"He has come in for some criticism which I think is not needed and is unfair. If you look at all the goals that have gone in this year, I don't think you can really point the finger at Cammy too much.

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"From my point of view, he has done well but the fact of the matter is we have conceded a lot of goals. Every goal that has gone in has gone past Cammy so I understand there is going to be criticism when you are not keeping clean sheets.

"But I have been happy with how Cammy has played. I have seen progression there and him growing into role."

Dawson, 23, has racked up 27 appearances since making his Wednesday debut in October 2016.

"It can be unforgiving being a goalkeeper," admitted former Owls goalkeeper Weaver.  "You look at the stats and we have not kept a clean sheet and conceded a lot of goals so you are going to come in for criticism but I think that's unfair on Cammy.

"We have conceded a lot of goals so there is always going to be criticism of the team, the defence and ultimately the goalkeeper because you are the last man there.

"Cammy has had a little bit of undue criticism but that is part and parcel of being a player, particularly a goalkeeper. You are in the firing line and it only makes you bigger, stronger and better."

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