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Clarke's Goals Will Come

PUBLISHED

10:45 3rd April 2014

Jackett praises striker's workrate

Kenny Jackett has highlighted Leon Clarke’s overall contribution to the team and predicted the striker will start finding the net at regular intervals if he maintains his workrate.

Clarke has struck 19 goals so far this season, but only one since arriving at Wolves, although Jackett has been pleased with his general workrate and play and is confident those goals will come.

The Wolves Academy graduate led the line in Tuesday’s goalless draw at Stevenage and was denied a goal by a fine Chris Day save in the second half.

Jackett said:  “His header in the first half was probably the best chance of that period and then the keeper made a good save in the second.

“But he’s working so hard and he’s really battling for the team and we’ve needed that.

“We haven’t got a player like him that can give us some hold-up play and some physical qualities.

“His work outside the box and his workrate has been excellent.

“The good thing is he’s having chances – if he wasn’t creating openings, I would worry.

“But, yes, I’m sure he’ll be frustrated because he’s been a regular goalscorer all his career and he will be again.

“His work outside the box to hold the play up and battle, scrap and close down was very good as it’s been since he’s been here.

“He got one at Swindon and he has had his chances but it just goes like that with forwards.

“What I want him to do is keep doing a job for the team and make sure that experienced centre forward play we needed to complement the other younger players we have in the forward positions is maintained.

“We’d have loved to have won on Tuesday night, but one point is better than none.

“In the position we’re in, every point we get is another step, albeit a small one.

“So I want him to keep contributing to the team and making sure his hold-up play, his workrate and his closing down is there and then I’m sure the goals will come.”

In Clarke and two younger strikers Nouha Dicko and Liam McAlinden Jackett believes he has good – and different – options to cause a threat over the season’s final six games.

And it may be that Wolves will change their style with Bakary Sako having been sidelined with a foot injury and fellow winger James Henry picking up a groin problem at Stevenage.

“It’s something we knew could happen at some stage, especially with Saturday’s game being our ninth in 28 days, so it’s a busy period for the whole division, not just us,” said Jackett.

“We’ve had a very settled team and with Henry and Sako in the wide areas and perhaps Jacobs inside, they’ve been very good options.

“The dynamics of that changed on Tuesday, but looking at the second half where Dicko and McAlinden started wide, they were two new ones but it was still effective.

“We created a lot of chances and we’d have loved to have put some of those away.

 “I can’t criticise because they didn’t fall away and we got stronger in the second half and had the better of it, so our attitude and commitment was there against a very resolute side battling for their lives at the bottom.

“We’ve had a terrific run and we’ve been playing fantastic football.

“You can see people targeting certain players in our side and working hard to stop us so it’s up to us to make sure we came out the other side stronger.”

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