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A Step In The Right Direction


09:00 22nd January 2013

by Stephen Ward

Ward says side looking more solid

Stephen Ward has praised his defensive colleagues after Wolves registered just their second clean sheet in eighteen games at Hillsborough this weekend.
The goalless draw against Sheffield Wednesday gave Wolves their second point in two games since Dean Saunders took over, following on from the 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers at Molineux.
Although Saunders is still looking for his first win in charge, his new side have not conceded from open play since he took over, something which Ward believes the squad can now build on.
"We've not had many clean sheets this season," says the left-back. "I think the last one was back in December (against Birmingham), so it's nice to get another one.
"That was one of the things that the manager said when he came in, that he wanted to make sure we were a bit more solid. He thinks that if we're able to keep clean sheets, we've got the players going forward that can score goals and win games."
Although he says there was no lack of confidence in the back line, Ward believes that Saunders has already instilled a new sense of discipline and resilience that will stand Wolves in good stead during the second half of the season.
"I think previously, for whatever reason, we've left ourselves a bit exposed at times and maybe we weren't getting our shape back as quickly as we should have been," he explains.
"Throughout the team, we ended up making it too easy for the opposition to play through us, whereas in the last two games I think we've been much more solid as a unit.
"We watched clips of the Blackburn game and we looked better defensively - perhaps before we've been a bit more spread out and we probably haven't been as disciplined, so that is something that the manager has been able to bring in quite quickly and is something we can hopefully build on."
Next up for Wolves is a second meeting in quick succession with Blackpool. Two goals from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake helped Wolves to a 2-1 win at Bloomfield Road last month, with the victory proving to be Stale Solbakken's last in charge.
Ward says that a similar outcome at Molineux on Saturday could be the springboard Wolves need to mount a charge up the Championship table.
"Blackpool are a good team, but we got a great result up there just before Christmas so hopefully we can do the same on our home patch.
"We feel that if we get a win on Saturday, it'll mean the two draws we have picked up so far will have been good points," he continues.
"The manager has said to us that if we can get two or three wins on the bounce it can change our fortunes massively in this league, and if we can do that within the next four or five games, we'll be in with a good chance coming into the run-in." 

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