'It’s becoming too much to handle': Ireland goalie Westwood hits out at online abuse

Westwood has effectively signalled his exit from Sheffield Wednesday, while condemning the "rumours, lies, and accusations" being spread online.

'It’s becoming too much to handle': Ireland goalie Westwood hits out at online abuse

Keiren Westwood has denied falling out with Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk after being frozen out of the first-team.

The Republic of Ireland goalkeeper played his last game for Wednesday in November and has since been made to train with the Under-23s, along with fellow exiles Sam Hutchinson and David Bates.

He has now effectively signalled his exit from the club where he signed a two-year deal last summer, while condemning the "rumours, lies, and accusations" being spread online.

"Being trolled online is never a nice experience. With the tragic events recently, it’s given me the courage to speak out to put an end to the online abuse I’m receiving simply for doing my job. Clarity is important. Enough is enough," said Westwood in a tweet accompanied by a statement.

With all the rumours, lies, and accusations being said about me online, I feel obliged to clear my name and defend myself. I feel it’s personally becoming too much to handle and it is getting out of control

"The manager and I have not fallen out. We had a conversation man to man and it was fine. I’m very experienced to know that these things happen in football and it’s never anything personal. We had a good conversation, shook hands, and left on good terms.

"I’m too far into my career to fall out with people. I know football inside and out, and I know a week is a lifetime in this world, so the hostility and animosity isn’t something I am interested in having in my life.

"There was no arguments or bad attitudes and definitely none of the rumours being bandied about having occurred. The manager has made a decision, which I fully accept and respect, and I have done since the moment it was made.

"After six years at this wonderful club, I reflect on my time here with great pride, having played 179 matches, twice being Player of the Year, twice equalling the clean sheet record, and making it into the PFA Team of the Year.

"I will also look back with great fondness and affection to the love that has been afforded to me by the club, the managers, Mr Chansiri and his family, all the staff, and my teammates, who I have shared plenty of highs and lows with and given everything for each other out on that pitch!

"To the fans, who have rode that journey with me, the rapport and love I have felt I will never forget and will cherish forever.

"With all that said, I fully support the team and the club not only on professional level but also on a personal level, as my two boys wouldn’t have that any other way!

"Rumours and gossip can cause a rift in the fanbase and hurt people in the process. It’s important that the fans stick together and support the team."

The 35-year-old has kept 67 clean sheets in his 179 games between 2014 and being dropped by Monk.

"At the end of the day, I have been in changing rooms for 25 years and I know what a successful environment looks like," said the Owls' manager on Saturday.

"I have to make decisions for various reasons, that I think will help that environment, and that goes for the whole squad.

"What I will say is that every single player knows exactly where he stands."

Westwood, who has twice won Wednesday's Player of the Year award, last played for Ireland in 2017. He was on the bench for Mick McCarthy's first games back in charge last year, but missed out on September's qualifiers due to injury and hasn't made it past the provisional squad since.

His demotion and Darren Randolph's transfer to West Ham leave Burton Albion's Kieran O'Hara as McCarthy's only goalkeeper getting regular first-team football.

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