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Challenge For Zeli


11:03 16th October 2013

Jackett pleased with winger's response

Zeli Ismail has been challenged to force his way back into the Wolves team after finding himself on the sidelines in recent weeks.

The 19-year-old winger has enjoyed his first taste of regular senior football under Kenny Jackett this season, making seven appearances to date, the most recent in last month’s 1-0 win at Shrewsbury.

Jackett has previously stated that young players enjoying a first taste of senior football are going to have ups and downs in level of performance, but says Ismail is reacting in the right way in terms of trying to bounce back.

“Zeli started the season in the team and he’s had some good performances and some disappointing performances as well,” said the Head Coach.

“Just looking at him in training he’s coming back well and working very hard.

“He was unfortunate (against Notts County) last Tuesday night because just with five substitutes I couldn’t quite fit him in.

“By the end of the game I wished I’d taken a chance on only having one keeper in the squad and out him as the next sub because undoubtedly I’d have put him on.

“That’s just my reflection on what we needed and where we’re short, which was creatively and in the wide area.

“It would have been a good opportunity for him to try to bounce back.

“In any case he has to now bounce back - similar to Lee Evans.

“He has to put a positive spin on the half-dozen games he’s had in the first team out of the 10 games so far and fight his way back into the group.

“He has to deliver on a regular basis. It’s a demanding role, the winger’s role.

“We do 11-a-side in training with the players wearing the GPS belts - the running stats are very accurate and it’s the two wide men are the ones that regularly do the most running.”

Jackett meanwhile remains surprised about the lack of loan offers for Wolves midfielder Jamie O’Hara.

While O’Hara is not part of Jackett’s future plans, he continues to train and work professionally and has impressed on his appearances as an over-age player for the Under-21s.

“We’ve had no enquiries about him whatsoever,” said Jackett.

“Every time he’s played for our Under-21s he’s been impressive and put in some good performances, so it surprises me no one has come in for him.

“Even if you went there to watch someone else, you’d see a good performance from him.

“So it’s surprised me there’s been no interest in him.”

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