Sheffield Wednesday manager Tony Pulis has paid tribute to goalkeeper Keiren Westwood for his contributions to the club since his appointment at Hillsborough.
Westwood had not actually been named among Sheffield Wednesday’s squad this season, but was re-registered following Pulis’ appointment by the Owls.
Injury then meant the 36-year-old’s return to the side hit something of a stumbling block, but he was restored to the XI on Saturday, and produced an impressive performance as Pulis picked up his first win as Wednesday manager, beating Coventry 1-0.
Speaking after the game, Pulis was full of praise for Westwood, as he told The Sheffield Star: “He’s been good, he’s been really good… The problem has been that he’s picked up a couple of injuries. But he’s always wanted to play, he’s always wanted to be part of it.
“He’s travelled with us, been a good voice in the changing room. He can be a bit off the wall at times, but goalkeepers are… I don’t think I’ve ever met a sensible, level-headed goalkeeper.”
Despite that, Pulis had no complaints about his predecessor Garry Monk’s decision not to name Westwood in his squad at the start of the campaign.
Discussing that decision by Monk, Pulis went on to add: “I don’t criticise any managers who have been in my position. They do what they have to, and there’s different ways to manage – there isn’t one set rule.
“Other managers, if they’ve not picked him then they’ve had a reason for not picking him.”
Following that win over Coventry, Wednesday still sit within the Championship relegation, although they are now just four points from safety.
You do have to credit Westwood for his actions here.
Given the way things had played out for him prior to Pulis’ arrival, you could have understood it if he hadn’t wanted much to do with the club at that point, so the contribution he has made both on and off the pitch is testament to his dedication and loyalty.
It is also good to see that that is something that Pulis recognises and acknowledges, and you imagine Westwood is now set for another decent run in the Wednesday starting lineup.