KEIREN Westwood’s assured full debut at Old Trafford did not surprise Michael Turner, who has tipped the Republic of Ireland goalkeeper to be a big asset to Sunderland this season.
The Black Cats’ centre-half had a close-up view of the keeper’s superb double-save at the weekend which thwarted first Wayne Rooney and then Patrice Evra and capped a fine individual display.
And he reflected afterwards: “Keiren has done really well.
“He has been waiting patiently for his chance with Simon Mignolet playing well and now he has come in, made his full Premier League debut and shown he is a great goalkeeper.
“He showed that with his saves but his kicking is also very good with a really strong left foot.
“He is also really vocal and is always shouting at the defence.
“That’s good, although sometimes we have to shut him up because he can be really annoying!
“We have to remember, though, that it is not all about Keiren.
“He will be keen to keep his place and that will help the whole team if he keeps performing like he did at the weekend.
“I know he is keen to make his mark.
“But we do have other goalkeepers who are also top players and it will be great competition when they are all fit.”
Turner accepted that taking anything away from Old Trafford is always a massive challenge to the opposition, but he revealed the huge disappointment the team felt that only a fluke own goal separated the two sides at the final whistle.
“We could have come away with something from United,” he said. “We wanted to stay in the game and throughout the match there was the sense that we could get something. “We set out a gameplan and it worked – we were unlucky not to get a point.
“It was unfortunate to see the goal go in like it did.
“We did contain them in many ways, it’s just one of those things.
“We were disappointed to concede a set play, but, overall, it was encouraging.
“We can take encouragement from the performances that we have been putting in, but it is frustrating that we have not got more points on the board.
“Even though it was against United, that game sort of summed our season up, really.
“We have been playing quite well but we haven’t been getting the points on the board, which is why we have towards the wrong end of the table. “I’m sure, though, that if we continue what we are doing, the wins will come.”