Kenny Jackett was pleased with another competitive workout as Wolves preserved their unbeaten pre-season record with a 1-0 victory at Oxford United.
Jackett mixed some of his experienced personnel who are looking to gatecrash his first team plans with some of his younger players at the Kassam Stadium, and they responded with a lively display including Leon Clarke’s well-taken 28th minute goal.
“It was a really good game and I thought it was really competitive for a pre-season friendly,” said Jackett.
“It was good for our lads to come and play at a league ground and if we were to come here in a cup game this season we would know it would be a hard tie.
“I was pleased with the effort and the win and the clean sheet.
“We certainly didn’t have things our own way, particularly in the second half when Oxford put the ball into our box a lot.
“I thought our two young centre halves dealt with that well and Aaron at the right times came and took some good crosses.
“The co-ordination of our passing could have been better and there are things we can work on and improve but for all those lads it was a good exercise.
“They looked a bit out on their feet at the end and they need games and to keep going but I didn’t take anybody off apart from Eusebio because I thought they all needed to go through that to get their fitness.”
While Stephen Ward came in to provide some balance and experience at left back, with Kevin Foley doing likewise on the other flank, it was the younger central defensive pairing of Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Dominic Iorfa who were selected in the middle.
Iorfa was joined in the ‘first senior start’ stakes by Eusebio Bancessi, whose hour-long appearance included an assist for Clarke’s goal.
“It was interesting for both players,” said Jackett.
“Eusebio showed some touches of class in the first half which we know he has got and we’ve just got to get him to a position where he has a game we can trust in the league.
“He has got some class though.
“Iorfa did very well having done well at Shrewsbury last season as right wing back.
“This was a different role for him and he looked strong, competitive and capable of going on to play in the league.
“I don’t think we’ll be sending him on loan – we’ve let Kortney Hause go out and with Dominic it’s probably a case of working at the Under-21s.
“Both him and Ethan were plusses for us tonight.”
And for Clarke, his first half winner made it six in six during this pre-season.4
“Leon took his goal very well and he played well,” said Jackett.
“He has had a bright pre-season where he has looked a physical presence and got goals as well.”
Wolves will now round off their pre-season with a home friendly against La Liga side Celta Vigo, at Molineux on Saturday (3pm).