Wake-up call for Westwood

13 February 2009 01:39
The 24-year-old, who joined the Sky Blues from Carlisle in a £500,000 deal last summer, is currently in the form of his life and riding on the crest of a wave.

His manager Chris Coleman has identified him as Coventry's outstanding player this season, a claim Westwood underlined last week with an injury-time penalty save which ensured City beat Championship leaders Wolves.

Westwood's form since moving to the Ricoh Arena has seen him linked with big-money moves to the Premier League and earned him a call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad - he is able to represent Ireland by virtue of his grandmother.

But life has not always been so rosy, and ahead of Saturday's fifth round tie at Ewood Park Westwood recalled how his career was almost unceremoniously stubbed out just a stone's throw along the A679 at Accrington.

"It has been a whirlwind what has happened to me and it doesn't seem real sometimes, but hopefully my story will show young lads that it is still possible to make it," said Westwood.

"I remember the lowest point was when I went to Accrington and played in a charity game with Neville Southall and Dave Watson playing as centre-halves and I had an absolutely storming game and everyone came up to me afterwards and said how well I'd done.

"Then there was a game three days later against Crewe and the manager asked me to go down and when I turned up I was one of three goalkeepers.

"I was told to get changed but there was no kit and that was it, that was the end of my trial at Accrington.

"No-one said anything to me and that was the lowest point because they didn't even say I wasn't good enough.

"If they had said, 'well done, but you're not what we are looking for at the moment,' I could have accepted that, but they said nothing.

"It was the worst summer in my life because I suddenly realised I would have to get a job. I have got a few GCSEs but not that many qualifications that could get me a good job.

"I was close to being a policeman and I was on the internet filling out the application forms when luckily I got a call from Carlisle - and I haven't looked back since."

Blackburn 4/6

, Draw 12/5

, Coventry 5/1


Source: Team_Talk