Kenny Jackett has backed skipper Samuel Ricketts to play a key part at Wolves this season – as he revealed Kevin Foley has moved down the pecking order of his plans.
The Head Coach has opted for Matt Doherty at right back so far this season, while the overall strength in that position has seen the experienced Foley available for offers after coming through pre-season.
Ricketts has been an unused substitute in the two league games so far this season, but notched his third goals in three home games in the Capital One Cup against Northampton.
And Jackett says there is fierce competition within his defensive department which means all will be needed to play their part.
“It’s been a really close call,” sajd Jackett.
“I feel that Matt Doherty’s had that good a pre-season he had to come into the side.
“It was a tough call with Sam but the other side of it is while everybody’s fresh and fit at the start of year I’ve got a good player to come in and that’s a good thing.
“That back four and Ricketts – you can pick any four of those five in different combinations I think and probably get an equal performance.”
And Jackett says Foley is available given his place in the pecking order, with the experienced defender no doubt keen to play regular football at this stage of his career.
“I had a look at him in pre-season and although he played very well – particularly at Oxford – he’s third-choice right-back behind Doherty and Ricketts with Ebanks-Landell having been there once or twice last season.
“And then coming onto the opposite side with Rowe coming into the building, it leaves me with Golbourne, Ricketts and Rowe that can all play at left-back.
“So for Kevin the decision is he tries to get himself in the shop window and tries to move on.
“We’re starting to thin the group out now - we’ve played three games and basically used the same 19 players although juggled them about but he hasn’t played.
“As you go through pre-season you need a lot more players with people needing 45 or 60 minutes or whatever, but I’m pleased I had a look at him.
“Full-backs is a very strong area for us and with Kevin, we’ve come to the conclusion that if he can use the good pre-season he’s had to get a move, that will be a good thing.
“Unfortunately within the group of 19 or 20 players we have, there isn’t room for him.
“After that, there has to be room for Dominic Iorfa and Ben O’Hanlon who are young players coming through in the Under-21s.”