Westwood eyes bright future after Sunderland exit

Keiren Westwood
Keiren Westwood
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KEIREN WESTWOOD is looking to put his Sunderland frustration behind him after joining Sheffield Wednesday.

Westwood penned a two-year deal at Hillsborough earlier this month after being released by Sunderland at the end of last season.

The Republic of Ireland stopper endured a tough three-year spell at the Stadium of Light after injury, illness and the form of fellow keepers Simon Mignolet and Vito Mannone confined him to a back-up role.

Now, after missing the final six months of last season with a shoulder injury, Westwood is keen to get his career back on track with the Owls.

Westwood, who made just 24 appearances for Sunderland, said: “I started last season as number one. That was fantastic for myself. I played a few games, got injured and that was a real setback for me.

“Sunderland is a fantastic club with great people. I’ve got good friends there. But I’m 29 and I want to be playing games. I can’t be sitting on the bench.

“Obviously, playing football is your bread and butter. It’s now a case of getting back to where I was a few years ago when I was playing every week for Coventry.

“The injury was a setback for myself. I could have gone on and played 30 odd games for Sunderland last season, but I didn’t.

“But I feel stronger than ever now.”

Wednesday pipped fellow Championship sides Brighton and Blackburn to the signature of Westwood, who was also linked with a surprise move to Manchester City.

Senior City sources had denied that Westwood was a target, but the 29-year-old insists there was interest from the Premier League champions for him to be a back-up stopper at the Etihad.

“There were a few irons in the fire for me,” he added.

“This (Wednesday) is a big club and the chance to play first-team football was an option I couldn’t turn down.

“It’s OK being linked to City and going there and being second or maybe third choice. But your career is soon over.

“I sat on the bench the year before at Sunderland and I wanted to play some games.”