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Clarke To Relish Pressure


10:15 8th August 2014

Jackett's belief in striker

Kenny Jackett says Leon Clarke will thrive on the pressure of trying to hit the goal trail with Wolves back in the Sky Bet Championship.

It was in this division that Clarke was among the goals during his first Wolves spell after coming through the Academy, and he is now in a battle for striking places to try and do it all again.

Clarke is set to be available for Sunday’s exciting curtain-raiser with Norwich (4pm), and has enjoyed an impressive pre-season notching six goals in as many games.

“You are always looking for where you goals are coming from,” says Jackett.

“And Leon has always scored goals and he is capable of getting goals.

“There is a pressure and that will always be there, and the bigger the club and the higher you go the more that will be.

“You should be thriving on that, and certainly accepting it, and can’t be moaning about it, and he doesn’t.

“He knows the situation, and for us anyway, where do our goals come from?

“If we look at the start of last year, if someone had said in pre-season that our top scorer would end up with 13 goals I don’t think anyone would have been particularly optimistic about the season.

“But we got over 100 points from having a top scorer with just 13 goals.

“That just shows you that you can spread the goals around and we had quite a number of players with a good goals total.

“That has to be the case again where all of those boys get a good amount of goals.

“Is it there for Clarke to score though? Yes. Every centre forward wants to score.”

Jackett also cites mitigation as to why Clarke didn’t enjoy too much regular football in his first four months back at Molineux after joining in January.

Namely an early niggling injury, and then the form of the team and Nouha Dicko when he returned to fitness.

“I brought him in to play as a second striker,” said the Head Coach.

“But when he came in he got injured pretty quickly and the team then developed very well.

“By the time Leon was fit, the likes of Dave Edwards and Michael Jacobs were playing behind the striker and I decided to carry on with that selection and it served us very well.

“During this pre-season I have tried various combinations and I have tried Leon up front with different partners.

“He has had a good pre-season, working really hard, has been closing down defenders and, in what is that priceless commodity, he has scored goals so far.

“It is now nice to have that selection option.

“He is a different type to Dicko and sometimes, even within one game, you can put a big man on or put a quick one on to test defenders.

“There is also the chance to develop a system where they both play although that hasn’t been my preference since he arrived.

“I would suggest that has been the single biggest contributing factor to the statistic in that he hasn’t played that much.”

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