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Carl goes full circle


09:00 18th January 2013

Ikeme positive ahead of Owls test

Despite being just 26-years-old, Carl Ikeme is one of the longest-serving members of the current Wolves squad, and last week welcomed the sixth manager of his time at Molineux.
This weekend will see him travel to Sheffield to face the first, Dave Jones.
However, there will be no room for sentimentality as Wolves and Wednesday lock horns with both in precarious positions in the league, with Ikeme confident that Dean Saunders' enthusiasm will prove a telling factor as Wanderers hunt down their first win in five.
"He's a really lively character," Ikeme says of the new man in the hotseat. "He's very hands-on in training and he's given the lads a real lift.
"He's brought more enthusiasm into training - the sessions have been good and hard work. Everyone's working hard and there's a good intensity around the place."
Despite a series of impressive goalkeeping displays from Ikeme, Wolves have only managed to keep five clean sheets in the league all season, the last one coming against Birmingham in early December.
However, the goalkeeper says that Saunders has been meticulous in his attempts to stabilise his back line, going over defensive tactics with 'a fine toothcomb'.
"He's obviously got different views to Ståle Solbakken, so we've worked hard this week on the ideas he wants to try to bring in.
"We've gone over it with a fine toothcomb really, and he's given us definite ideas of how he wants us to be and what he wants us to do as a team, in terms of organisation," Ikeme adds.
Wolves did manage to blunt the Wednesday attack in the reverse fixture at Molineux back in September, when Bakary Sako's first-half goal gave the home side a 1-0 win and all three points.
That result came in the middle of a ten-game winless run for the Owls, but Ikeme insists that their recent form, including their 3-1 victory over high-flying Hull at the KC Stadium last weekend, means the Yorkshiremen cannot be taken lightly.
"Every game is different," he explains. "Obviously we know about Sheffield Wednesday, we know that they're a big, physical side but you've really got to take every game as it comes - just because we beat them last time doesn't mean we can take them lightly this time around.
"They're in good form at the minute - we can't underestimate them at all. They've got good, experienced players and they're a big, physical, organised team so it's going to be a tough game, just like every game in this league."
Barring any late injuries and the intervention of the predicted snow, Ikeme will continue his run of starting every Championship game so far this season at Hillsborough.
In many ways, this campaign has been the breakthrough season of Ikeme's time at Molineux, which began as an academy player during Jones' tenure.
He was understudy to Michael Oakes during Wolves' ill-fated 2003/04 Premier League campaign, and Ikeme has fond memories of the former boss.
"I remember him telling me off for taking a cup of tea into the gym when I was a kid!" Ikeme jokes.
"I was in the Academy when he was here but I was training with the first team a lot. He was a very good manager, very organised. He knows how he wants his team to play, and he's been successful at most places he's been to.
"I was only young when he was here but I remember him being a very good manager." 

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