Sunderland's pre-season selections not concerning Westwood


Sunderland goalkeeper Keiren Westwood is not reading into manager Paolo Di Canio’s team selection during pre-season this summer.

The Ireland international has been used as a back-up option at the club since signing on a free in the summer transfer window of 2011, but with Belgian shot-stopper Simon Mignolet being sold to Liverpool, he is expected to be the Italian chief’s first-choice when the season begins in August.

But, whilst the 28-year-old does not consider himself as the established choice just yet, he is not worried about whether or not he will start ahead of new signing Vito Mannone against Tottenham Hotspur when the two sides meet in the Premier League Asia Trophy on Wednesday.

He told the Shields Gazette: “Everyone is guessing this, that and the other over who will play. Nobody really knows until that first game of the season.

“Everyone will have an opportunity to impress the manager and I think we’re all looking to grasp it.

“That can only benefit the club, with having a good, strong, 25-man squad. I don’t see it as being the No1. It’s up to the manager.

“I’ll try to play well in pre-season and give everything I’ve got in the games and hopefully take the opportunities I’m given. I’ll take it from there.”

Westwood went on to say he is pleased with the transfer business the Wearside club has conducted so far this summer, as eight new arrivals have added strength in depth and given the team a competitive spirit.

“If you’re going to sign players, you want to do it at the start of pre-season,” he added.

“Then you have four weeks to get to know your team-mates and the way the managers wants you to play and the way the person next to you plays – his weaknesses, his positives.

“Then, you can sort of read each other’s game.”


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