Ståle Solbakken has warned his players of the particular threat posed by tomorrow’s visitors Sheffield Wednesday as Wolves look to reproduce their winning npower Championship away form at Molineux tomorrow.
The side have picked up six points out of six on their travels since hanging on to beat Leicester in the last home match and aim to continue their rise up the table at the expense of the club now managed by former Wolves boss Dave Jones.
But Solbakken insists his squad will have to see to the basics if they are to pick up a fourth successive league victory.
“Wednesday are physically strong and are very strong at set-pieces,”
the manager said. “Three of the back four are very, very competitive in the air and they have Jay Bothroyd as well.
“So it’s important we don’t give away too many cheap set-pieces and are good against them.
“They score quite a few in this way and can do harm to any team on their day.
“They create a lot of chances and could destroy you at set-pieces, so we have to be aware of that.”
Games are still coming thick and fast with the season now a month and a half old but the Norwegian believes the backdrop to the successive challenges at home to Wednesday and Crystal Palace is more favourable this time.
Wolves have recently emerged from a testing spell of three substantial journeys in seven days to Ipswich, Peterborough and Chelsea and there is now more training time available as a result of a Molineux double-header.
“Last week was more difficult,” he added. “We played three games in a shorter time (with a Sunday fixture to start with) and had long trips as well.
“Now we have two home games and it’s a little bit easier to prepare.
The players who have played most games should have some fitness back (after missing the Chelsea tie), so we should be ready.
“You hope to have time to prepare but that’s not an excuse anyway. We have to make the best of the time we have together.
“For now, it’s all about the Sheffield Wednesday game. We don’t think about Crystal Palace until this one is out of the way.”
The boss confirmed at his lunchtime press conference today that he has a fully-fit squad available to choose from, with the exception of the long-term casualties.
He said Sylvan Ebanks-Blake was okay despite having a tight hamstring earlier this month and Stephen Hunt was withdrawn at half-time at Stamford Bridge because it had been decided 45 minutes would be enough for him against the Champions League and FA Cup winners.
The manager remains comfortable with his team selection for the Capital One Cup tie, adding that all clubs rang the changes as he did – apart from Chelsea!
“We have something to live up to now,” he said. “Some more expectation has come with the three wins and the players must remember it could become a physical battle.
“I will tell them: Don’t be naïve……earn the right to play, especially at the beginning of the game.”