Keiren Westwood keen to become first-choice at Sunderland

Keiren Westwood

Sunderland goalkeeper Keiren Westwood is keen to stay on Wearside, but first-team football remains his priority.

The Republic of Ireland keeper has been limited to just 13 appearances since by the form and fitness of Simon Mignolet.

However, offers the 28-year-old the chance to compete with for the goalkeeper's jersey.

"For the sake of my career, I have to play," Westwood told BBC Newcastle.

"I love it here [at Sunderland], it's great. It's a fantastic club to be at and I couldn't have gone to much better, but I have to play football - I didn't play most of last season.

"It's not a club I want to leave, I've a lot of friends here, I love it and hopefully I can be playing."

Westwood briefly became the Republic of Ireland's number one after Shay Given's international retirement last year but almost immediately lost his place to Millwall's David Forde as he was not playing first-team football.

"I lost my Ireland place on the back of me not playing, it's not through lack of form, just lack of game-time," said Westwood, who won his 15th cap in last month's friendly against Georgia.

"I totally understand the manager's thinking, I'm looking to get back playing now and get my Ireland place back."

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