New Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk has claimed that club goalkeeper Keiren Westwood is one of the best in the division, following his performance in Monk’s first game as Owls boss on Sunday, which saw them beat Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town 2-0.
Headers in either half from Steven Fletcher and Sam Winnall secured Monk’s first three points at the club, although Westwood also made a number of crucial saves to keep his side ahead with the score at 1-0.
Speaking about the goalkeeper’s contribution to the win following the game, Monk told the Sheffield Star: “It is vitally important that he made a couple of saves.
“He did not have a lot to do, but he made the saves and that is what he is there for.”
Westwood has experienced an inconsistent start to the season – which included a red card at Reading on the opening day – although Monk is still confident about the 34-year-old’s all-round ability, and heaped further praise on the goalkeeper as he added: “Of course, Keiren has been one of the best keepers in the league.
“He has had some injury problems in recent seasons, but a fully-fit Keiren is one of the best keepers in this league – if not the best.”
Having joined Wednesday from Sunderland in the summer of 2014, Westwood has made a total of 170 appearances in all competitions for the Owls, and signed a new two-year contract with the club during the summer.
Wednesday are currently ninth in the Championship standings following their win at the John Smith’s Stadium over the weekend, and are next in action when they host Fulham at Hillsbrough on Saturday afternoon.
I do find myself agreeing with Monk here.
Westwood has been a brilliant servant for Wednesday for several years now, and I don’t think there is much sign of that changing any time soon.
Given he was out of the side for much of the early part of last season under Jos Luhukay, you only have to look at the Owls upturn in results following his return to the starting XI under Steve Bruce to see how big a part he has to play at Hillsborough.
You feel Monk therefore, will be rather pleased with the deal that the club managed to get him to sign in the summer, ensuring that he has a solid last line of defence with which he can build the rest of side from during his time with the club.