Kenny Jackett is throwing open the opportunity for players to try and gatecrash his plans for the first day of the season when Wolves visit Oxford in their latest pre-season friendly tonight (7.45pm).
With several players who had come through the majority of recent fixtures rested for the trip to Kassam Stadium, a team including both senior figures and younger players will take to the pitch.
Jackett has already announced his team which is made up of keeper Aaron McCarey, defenders Kevin Foley, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Dominic Iorfa and Ben O’Hanlon, midfielders David Davis, Jack Price, Eusebio Bancessi and James Henry and frontmen Leon Clarke and Liam McAlinden.
And that means first starts at senior level for both O’Hanlon, an England Under-18 international, Iorfa, who spent the end of last season on lown with Shrewsbury, and Bancessi, who came off the bench at Crewe on Saturday.
“We want to get everyone games, starts and 90 minutes for those guys,” says Jackett.
“They have the opportunity to force their way into the first team.
“It will be a really good test and it will be interesting going into the final two games where I can look at as many of my players as possible.
“Saturday will be nearer to our best line-up but I’m still open-minded going into this week.”
On O’Hanlon and Bancessi, Jackett added: “I saw Ben play in the youth team last season but I haven’t seen too much of him.
“He started with an injury last year but he played for England Under-18s last season and now he’s fully fit.
“Eusebio hasn’t played too much in pre-season but after his 20 minutes on Saturday he’ll start tonight.
“That was a good warm-up and gave him a feel for it and hopefully he can go out and do well.
“We need to put these players in a first-team environment against League opposition.
“We need to see what we’ve got and pre-season is a time when you can do that.
“It will be a really good test and it will be interesting going into the final two games where I can look at as many of my players as possible.”
Jackett believes it will be a good test against Oxford tonight.
“They’ve got a new management team in Michael Appleton and Derek Fazackerley,” he said.
“Traditionally they can get going in League Two and they’re one of the bigger sides with one of the bigger grounds.
“The potential is there for the club. It was a strange season for them last time because they were in the top two for much of the season and then fell away to the fringes and by the end, they were in freefall.
“They lost seven of their last eight and finished around halfway.
“But they have a new manager there and there’s a lot to work with in terms of a League Two club.”
Bakary Sako would not have been available tonight due to the groin injury which saw him withdrawn from Saturday’s line-up at Gresty Road but he hopes to be back available for this Saturday’s final friendly with Celta Vigo at Molineux.
WOLVES: McCarey, Foley, Ebanks-Landell, Iorfa, O’Hanlon, Davis, Price, Henry, Clarke, Bancessi, McAlinden.
TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE STADIUM TONIGHT. PRICE IS £12 FOR ADULTS OR £7 FOR STUDENTS, OVER 65s AND UNDER 18s. VISITORS WILL BE IN THE NORTH STAND WHERE A CASH OFFICE FOR ADMISSION WILL BE OPEN FROM 6.30PM. SUPPORTERS WISHING TO PAY BY CARD CAN DO SO IN THE TICKET OFFICE IN THE MAIN STAND.
*Fans travelling to Oxford are advised to allow plenty of time for their journey tonight. There are roadworks coming off the A34 at the Hinksey Hill interchange near Kennington and fans may wish to consider instead coming off earlier at the A4144 Pear Tree roundabout and going North around the ring road following the signs for the A40 and A4142.