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‘Finally showing some intent’ – These Sheff Wed fans were delighted with 2014 addition but it’ll leave a sour taste now



After a mediocre 16th place finish the year prior, Sheffield Wednesday are hoping the 2014-15 campaign would be an improved one.

Stuart Gray remained in charge at Hillsborough and was tasked with progressing the Owls and have them challenging for a place in the play-offs.

To do so, signings needed to be made and the Wednesday manager saw an influx of players that summer both permanently and on loan to try and facilitate that target.

There was not a lot of money at the club at the time, so that Gray had to rely heavily on the temporary market, as well as free agents.

Four players arrived at the club, all for free with the Wednesday rebuilding process underway.

And, number five arrived on July 7, 2014, in what was one of Wednesday’s better acquisitions of that summer.

After his release from Sunderland, Keiren Westwood signed a two-year deal at Hillsborough on a free transfer.

His arrival would give much-needed competition to Chris Kirkland in between the sticks.

And the signing had plenty of the Wednesday faithful pleased with the capture of Republic of Ireland international.

Sheffield Wednesday’s new number one, relegating Kirkland to the reserves for the majority of the season.

He would play 44 games during his debut season at Hillsborough, and saved two penalties in that time – an impressive 50 per cent save ratio for the campaign.

But what was more impressive was the 17 clean sheets which equalled the club’s all-time record for a single season.

Westwood was one of the Owls’ most consistent players in the league that year only missing out during his suspension following his red card against Derby County which the club appealed against but lost the appeal.

And for the last three games, Kirkland played in goal following Westwood’s injury in the warm-up in a game at Bournemouth where he was due to start.

The following season 37 appearances were made and an impressive tally of 14 clean sheets.

Westwood was fast becoming a vital part of the Sheffield Wednesday team, with his consistent level of impressive performances.

Regardless of manager, the Republic of Ireland international had been a mainstay of the side, and another 48 appearances would fellow in his third year at Hillsborough.

Last season, however that all changed, Carlos Carvalhal had played the goalkeeper 18 times before he was sacked on Christmas Eve, and eventually replaced with Jos Luhukay.

Westwood has not made a single appearance for the club since December 9, 2017 – over a full year out of the team.

This campaign, the 34-year-old has not even made the bench, instead of being left to play in the reserves and kick his heels, Luhukay spoke of an injury, to which Westwood offered an honest retort.

That was in the pre-season before his continued absence between the sticks.

And things are not looking up with Cameron Dawson the firm favourite in goal for the Dutch manager.

The initial reaction to the signing of Westwood was overwhelmingly positive, and he was proving his worth year after year with an impressive total of clean sheets and individual performances.

But things have taken a sour turn in the last year, with the goalkeeper unable to feature, try as he might.

The positivity to his arrival has turned into frustration at his continued exclusion after what had been a stellar set of campaigns from the Irishman before his unwarranted exile.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘Finally showing some intent’ – These Sheff Wed fans were delighted with 2014 addition but it’ll leave a sour taste now

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