KEIREN Westwood tonight begins his quest to establish himself as Sunderland’s number one keeper.
And the Republic of Ireland international says he can’t wait to get started after kicking his heels on the sidelines for the last few weeks.
The Black Cats face Kilmarnock at the Scottish Premier League side’s Rugby Ground this evening in a game specifically designed to blow the cobwebs away from Westwood, Asamoah Gyan and Wes Brown, who are all in line to make their first appearances of pre-season.
And for Westwood it is a first opportunity to press his claims for a place in Sunderland’s starting line up in the opening day game against Liverpool in just over a fortnight’s time.
The 26-year-old was a spectator during the pre-season games in Germany as Sunderland decided to take no risks with the Bosman signing as he completed his recovery from shoulder surgery.
But this evening Steve Bruce will run the rule over a stopper who is confident that having finally reached the highest level of the game, he can establish himself there.
Westwood told SportMail: “It’s always a frustration when you’re out with injury but this hasn’t been that much of a problem for me because I always knew that I was going to have the shoulder problem cleared up as soon as the season finished with Coventry.”
Read Westwood’s comments in full in today’s Mail.