Sheffield Wednesday: Owls star aims to push Joe Wildsmith for the number one jersey

Owls goalkeeper Cameron Dawson
Owls goalkeeper Cameron Dawson
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When jokingly asked if he is a better goalkeeper than his Owls teammate Joe Wildsmith, Cameron Dawson burst into laughter before expertly batting a potentially hard question away.

Dawson, with a big smile on his face, replied: “We are both work hard, push each other; he likes to think he’s better and I like to think I’m better!

Joe Wildsmith

Joe Wildsmith

“But most of all we are great friends. We’ve been at the club for a long time. I came to the club at 15 so that’s six years now. First of all we are friends and then second we work hard, push each other and try to get the best out of each other.”

Given Wildsmith and Dawson are competing for one position, it helps they are close pals off the pitch.

Dawson said: “I like to see Joe do well when he plays and Joe is always the first one to congratulate me when I play. It’s a really healthy, positive relationship.

“We work hard during the week and we support each other whoever gets the nod in the games on the matchdays.”

Cameron Dawson

Cameron Dawson

Dawson will start in goal at Swansea City tomorrow night. With Keiren Westwood still sidelined by injury, manager Jos Luhukay has opted to select Dawson in the FA Cup and field Wildsmith in the Championship.

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“Of course, I want to play in the Championship,” admitted Dawson. “The league is the most important competition of the season so to play in the league is obviously what I want to do.

“I will try to work hard and prove to the manager he can throw me in the league no problem.

“Joe has done great recently since coming in. We will see how it goes. I have to keep working hard and hopefully I will get a chance at some point.”

More than a dozen of Wednesday’s senior stars sat-out Saturday’s home defeat to Aston Villa, including Keiren Westwood, Gary Hooper, Sam Hutchinson, Fernando Forestieri and Barry Bannan. Their injury crisis has left Luhukay with little alternative to promote youth. And the kids have done alright. Dawson, Wildsmith, Jordan Thorniley and Sean Clare have particularly acquitted themselves well in difficult circumstances.

“It’s excellent,” said Dawson. “As a local lad myself, playing for Wednesday means everything to me and to see the opportunity is there is a real boost.

“I think the likes of Jordan and Sean have done well. It is great for the academy and good for the club. It is a positive sign for that side of the club.

“With the injuries and everything, it has given a chance for the young lads to get a go.”

The Owls currently sit 17th in the table, seven points above the bottom three and Dawson accepts the side are in danger of being dragged into a relegation battle.

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He said: “I’d say right now we’re not directly in a relegation fight, but in this league another couple of (bad) results and we could be right in it.

“So it’s important to put a few wins on the board in the league and maybe get climbing up that table to distance ourselves from that relegation fight.”

Describing this evening’s cup tie in South Wales as a “welcome distraction”, Dawson said: “It would mean a lot to get to the next round. It has not probably been the season that we hoped for.

“We have had a lot of injuries. Key players getting injured. I think we have been very unlucky with that and been unlucky in a few games. Everybody knows that we have not performed to the level we can perform this season.

“In the league, we have not hit the standards that we know we can hit for various reasons. The cup is a nice distraction and hopefully we can get a positive result and then it will be either Rochdale or Spurs.”

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