Sheffield Wednesday: Joe Wildsmith promises to put Middlesbrough mistake behind him
Having spent almost four months out on the sidelines through injury, the last thing a footballer wants is to make a mistake on their return to action.
But that was exactly what happened to Owls shot-stopper Joe Wildsmith earlier this month.
The talented youngster, who burst on to the scene in the 2015/16 campaign, started in between the sticks against Middlesbrough, with Wednesday number one Keiren Westwood rested.
Wildsmith received a back pass from left-back Daniel Pudil and tried to clear his lines only for his attempted clearance to hit Alvaro Negredo and fly into the back of the net.
It was a killer second goal for Boro as they booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Being a goalkeeper can be a lonely place at times, but Wildsmith has vowed to learn from his error.
“You definitely learn from those things,” Wildsmith told The Star.
“As a goalkeeper, if you make a mistake, most of the time it ends up costing you.It’s something as a young goalkeeper I’ve got to work on and hopefully those mistakes won’t happen again.
“Avoiding those type of mistakes will only come with experience.”
It has, by his own admission, been a tough season for Wildsmith.
The 21-year-old, who made 14 appearances in Wednesday’s march to the Championship Play-Off Final last term, suffered a serious finger injury in training last September.
Wildsmith underwent surgery and was unable to join in training for a lengthy period.
In his absence, fellow rookie Cameron Dawson, pictured inset, stepped into the breach and impressed.
Wildsmith, who has made just two appearances this term, said: “These things happen in football.
“When you get injured as a goalkeeper, especially when you injure your hands, you can’t keep goal. I just had to stay strong and keep working hard.”
Since regaining full fitness, Wildsmith has reclaimed his place on the substitutes bench.
The academy graduate recently played in the development squad’s 4-1 thrashing of Bolton Wanderers to build up his match sharpness.
“Hopefully, getting games for the Under-23’s under my belt will help me massively to get back up to speed, and take me into those bigger games for the first team,” said Wildsmith.
“Obviously I’m disappointed with myself with what happened against Boro. I’m the first person to say that. I don’t need anyone to tell me that.
“Nothing was said by any of the lads after the Boro game. It was all positive.
“We have a really good group who put an arm around you and you just move on from it.
“Now I just want to play as many games as possible.
“Of course Westy [Keiren Westwood] is number one and I’m just there to support him all the way.
“If I’m called upon, I’ll go in and do my very best for the team.”