Head Coach Kenny Jackett today re-iterated there will be fine lines between success and otherwise this season – after admitting Gillingham has probably been the only “comfortable” game so far this season.
Wolves have won four of their five Sky Bet League One fixtures thus far, the first victory coming by a 4-0 scoreline against the Gills when the team got off to a flier with three goals in the first 31 minutes.
But after that there have been late wins against Bristol City and Crawley, and victory at Port Vale when the game was evenly poised both at 0-0 and until Wolves’ turned their one goal lead into two.
All that suggests a high competitive edge among the current squad, which pleases Jackett, but also offers a reminder to keep standards high.
He says: “If we drop our standards even by five per cent that could be the difference between winning and losing, because the only comfortable game we’ve had so far has been Gillingham.
“Every other match has been tight and competitive and been very good, entertaining contests where the opposition has pushed us all the way.
“We have to keep our standards high and make sure we get everything out of our players and also have the strongest bench available so that late in the games we can make the changes that can make the difference between losing and drawing and drawing and winning.
“We know every club will have a high level of motivation against us and it’s something we have to deal with and it’s once we’ve paid respect to the opposition, we have to focus on our own game.
“Sometimes you see sides coming to Molineux and lift themselves but we then have to set our standards very high.
“This is a crucial four games for us. We’re playing against an in-form Swindon team and then two local derbies where the opposition has a very high level of motivation.
“We want to get as many points as possible from these four games.
“As a squad and as a group they have to be as focused because we want to be as strong as we can.”
When games are tight, Jackett has highlighted the importance of having a strong bench to come on and make a difference.
Leigh Griffiths came off the bench to fire home the penalty winner against Crawley, and both Lee Evans and Bjorn Sigurdarson played key roles in the build-up to the final two goals against Vale, in Sigurdarson’s case also scoring.
“Both have played very well during the course of the season, but if we want to do what we want to do we need a strong bench,” added Jackett.
“We need good substitutes to win us games and good players to come in because it won’t always be a case of having a minimal amount of injuries and suspensions and fatigue.
“We’re playing at a good level and we’re a very big club and we should have 20 good players.
“That’s my message and people who come in, work hard to keep others out and that competition does create a winning atmosphere because whoever you are, if your place is threatened, you can then produce your best football.
“I do believe in that competition being healthy and I do believe also that you need a strong bench and one that can make an impact in a game.
“Both Lee and Bjorn did that against Port Vale when the bench was a crucial factor.
“When we went 1-0 up, that was really the key time in the game and being able to make very strong substitutes made sure we were able to get further away from them and didn’t let them back in at a vital time when they were putting us under pressure.
“We have the firepower to make the changes that can win that last part of the game and secure the points.”