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Boss Aware Of "Banana Skin"


09:25 5th January 2013

Solbakken relishing FA Cup bow


Boss Ståle Solbakken is set for his first taste of FA Cup action as a manager at Luton this afternoon – but is well aware of the English phrase of a “banana skin”.

Wolves are facing non-league opposition away from home for the first time since their infamous exit to Chorley, and head to Kenilworth Road on the back of three hugely disappointing defeats in the npower Championship.

But the manager believes they are ready to turn performances around after hitting “rock bottom”, despite knowing Luton will provide a stern test.

“You can trip on a banana skin in Norway as well - I understand that perfectly!” says Solbakken.

“Luton is a difficult game for us in terms of expectations and we haven’t been good at living up to that lately.

“It’s a fact, we are where we are.

“When you look back to the position we were in after the Blackpool game where we won, we had two home games where we could have won, that’s what everyone was hoping for.

“But there was a lot of disappointment and we hit rock bottom performance-wise. 

“I don’t think I can fool anyone, I’m always telling the truth.

“It’d be stupid to sit here and protect and hide something, we actually are in a crisis and we are struggling.

“The Luton match is the kind of game that everyone is looking at now.

“But I’m responsible, I have to take that, and it’s not that I am running out ideas or power.

“I can turn this around, it’s possible and I am full of energy and full of hope.”

The manager is well aware of the speculation growing about his position given Wolves’ are in 18th place in the table and have suffered three successive defeats.

He understands that, but cannot think too much about it given his focus is purely on bringing about a revival in the coming weeks.

“I would be stupid to sit here and say I have the safest job in England at the moment,” Solbakken acknowledges.

“But I’m not worried about my job at all - that’s the least thing on my mind.

“I’m here to work day and night to try and turn this around.

“The last thing that worries me is my own situation.

“If you are in this kind of job you will bump into this kind of period sometimes.

“Now we’re in it, and we have to stay strong and not panic.

“You have to look at yourself in the mirror and take the decision you think is right.”

Jake Cassidy was among the squad which travelled to Luton ahead of today’s game after returning from his loan spell at Tranmere, as was Bakary Sako after the winger improved following the slight hamstring problem which saw him substituted at Crystal Palace.

“Sako is much better,”  said the boss.

“We took him off as soon as he started to struggle at Palace and he has responded well to treatment and he now feels much more freedom.”

Tongo Doumbia and Björn Sigurdarson however haven’t travelled due to hamstring and thigh problems respectively.

*Wolves have sold out of their 1,500 allocation for today’s game and fans without tickets are urged not to travel to Kenilworth Road.

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