KEIREN WESTWOOD will miss Sheffield Wednesday’s Championship game at home to Birmingham City tonight with a minor shoulder injury, but manager Garry Monk has made it clear he would not have played anyway.
Westwood errors have been behind three of the last four goals the Owls have conceded, his weakness at crosses twice costly against Swansea City, and a rush of blood gifting West Bromwich Albion an 89th-minute penalty on Saturday.
Cameron Dawson will therefore make his fourth league start this season in goal, having also come off the bench when Westwood was sent off at Reading on the opening weekend. He has only been beaten once.
“Cameron’s going to be playing,” Monk confirmed.
Kieren’s got a little bit of an injury but it would have been a decision I would have had to make anyway. He knows as well as me when you’re in that position you can’t afford to make a number of mistakes in a short period of time.Owls boss garry Monk
“Keiren’s got a little bit of an injury but it would have been a decision I would have had to make anyway.
“It’s just a slight shoulder injury for Keiren. I don’t think he will be out too long.”
Monk stressed his confidence in Dawson.
“It was a very difficult decision (to leave him out against Leeds United) but he was fantastic and I’m sure he’ll continue how left off,” he added. “I believe in Cameron and this is his opportunity. It’s up to him to take it.”
Monk backed 35-year-old Westwood to respond in the right way.
“For goalkeepers it’s very difficult,” said the manager. “There’s always going to be mistakes over the season.
“Nine times out of 10 they lead to goals. Keiren knows as well as me when you’re in that position you can’t afford to make a number of mistakes in a short period of time.
“If it’s over a season you probably expect five or six. When I brought Keiren back in I felt like he was in a position for me to do that. It was harsh on Daws’ because the two games he played, Cardiff and Stoke, he was fantastic.
“Keiren knows that when he comes back it’s for him to fight and get himself back in the team.”
With Liam Palmer picking up a three-match suspension for his red card at The Hawthorns, Monk also has a decision at right-back, and could move Dominic Iorfa there to accommodate captain Tom Lees.
“Mo (Odubajo)’s done very well this season and was probably a little bit unfortunate to lose his place but Foxy (Morgan Fox) came in and excelled. We have the option of Dom as well. Long-term I think centre-half is his position but the fact he can play right-back is an advantage with his physicality.”