Saturday, 2 July 2011

Keiren Westwood: A Coventry fan's view

Westwood in action for Republic of Ireland

1) Keiren finally completed his move to Wearside on Friday, what can Sunderland fans expect from him - what are his main attributes?
You can expect a player who gives 100% every time, he is extremely brave and his ability to pull off a save out of a bleak situation is the main reason we have survived in the championship for so long.

2) Westwood has represented Ireland 7 times, from what you’ve seen, do you believe he is the man to take over from Shay Given?
Definitely, I can see him being involved with the international setup for years to come, he reminds me a lot of Shay Given as well.

3) Do you believe he has what it takes to be number one keeper at a Premier League club?
Yeah, I think being behind a better defence will make him a better keeper, he will flourish against some of the top strikers as well. Be interesting to see what happens when Craig Gordon comes back from injury.

4) What’s your favourite save of Westwood’s whilst at Coventry?
Against Birmingham City a few years ago at St Andrews, ball is crossed in, Birmingham City player heads it from about 3 yards out, Westwood flicks a wrist out and palms it over the crossbar, brilliant save and we went on to win.

5) What’s the general reaction amongst Coventry fans following Keiren’s move to Wearside?
We're sad to see him go but we realised early on in the season that he was unlikely to stay. 90% of us were expecting Westwood to go to a Premier League club (thankfully it wasn't Villa!). We are very excited to see how he does in the Premier League.

6) Coventry have signed Chris Dunn and ex-Sunderland goalkeeper Joe Murphy on free transfers, do you expect the latter to take over from Westwood in goal?
Yeah, Murphy will be first choice and Dunn his understudy, very happy with signing them.

7) According to your manager Andy Thorn, a Premier League club were interested in the services of Chris Dunn, what do you know about him and are you pleased with the signing?
The Northampton fans haven't been too complementary about him, apparently his distribution and kicking is a bit poor although both Oggy and Thorn think that he can match the levels that Westwood played to so that's good enough for me.

8) What sort of season do you expect Sunderland to have next season?
A very good one, been impressed with the signings you've made, I think Wickham is going to be a revelation for you. Wouldn't surprise me if you qualified for the Europa league, maybe a league cup win?

9) What are your aims for next season, where do you predict you’ll finish?
Really could go either way, we do need to make some more signings, I'm happy with the manager we've got so time will tell. Heart says top 10, head says just hovering above relegation zone.

10) Finally, what position do you most need to strengthen now that the goalkeeper situation is sorted, and who, realistically, would you like to sign?
After Marlon's departure we definitely need another striker, Platt and Eastwood aren't good enough to be first choice, would love to see us sign Le Fondre, more likely to be Kevin Phillips though.

I'd like to thank Mark for this interview, you can follow him on twitter at @CovFan

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