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Ethan's Show Of Strength

PUBLISHED

09:00 18th November 2013

Jackett praise for defender

Kenny Jackett has highlighted the impact of Saturday’s matchwinner Ethan Ebanks-Landell as another sign of the promising young players battling for a place in the Wolves team – as well as the strength the club have in the right back position. 

Matt Doherty had been one of Wolves’ most consistent performers in the position before picking up a hamstring injury, after which Jackett turned to the experience of Richard Stearman to move across from the centre back position.

Kevin Foley is also now fit again after injury niggles, but it was Ebanks-Landell – more readily used as a centre back in the Under-21 side – who showed his versatility at Notts County and marked his first league start for Wolves with the vital winning goal.

“There are opportunities for young players and there have been many so far this season,” said Jackett.

“He has had to wait as he has been a regular substitute this season but hasn’t played many times.

“He came on at Bradford in what was a big game for us and I felt, for a substitute for Richard Stearman, did very well.

“He has now followed that up with a good start.

“He is definitely an asset to the club as he has a fantastic character and is a hard worker and a good team man.

“If you can get that, along with ability as a footballer, that is the ideal.”

Jackett also handed another of the club’s young strikers, Jake Cassidy, a starting role, revealing he opted for him in preference to Leigh Griffiths for his additional physical presence.

Cassidy ensured the Notts County back-line were never able to rest, helping pave the way for Wolves to create many more chances in the second half also sparked by Griffiths’ arrival as a substitute.

“I felt that the front part of my team needed to work harder,” Jackett said of his selections.

“Quite often late in games we haven’t had the thrust and the impetus that we have needed but we had it on Saturday.

“I felt that tactically we needed a big man up there with Jake Cassidy who has been a good addition for us in the last few games despite not scoring.

“He has played very well with a slightly more defensive man behind him.

“We have wanted to be solid and keep more clean sheets but it is a two way street because in the first half we just didn’t create enough chances or have enough clear strikes on goal.

“Leigh coming on made a difference and I felt we had the better chances in the game and could have put it away, particularly in the second half.

“When you don’t take chances you give yourself a problem but credit to Notts County who had a very good mindset and attitude today and if they play like that they won’t be in the relegation zone for every long.

“To come here and overcome that with a new manager coming in for his first home game is a very good performance.

“I felt we were committed and if I can be critical it would just be of our finishing.”

Jackett revealed that James Henry is battling to be fit for tomorrow’s FA Cup first round replay with Oldham (7.45pm) due to a groin injury and that Jack Price missed out at Meadow Lane because of a stomach bug.

The Head Coach also said the door is not closed on Jamie O’Hara, who having been recalled to the first team set-up has been given the challenge of forcing his way into the team.

“Jamie wasn’t selected on Saturday,” said Jackett.

“He has been back in the group for three weeks and has made two substitute appearances.

“The situation hasn’t really changed - all I said when I brought him back in is that he would train with the first team and maintain his fitness and play in the reserve and Under-21 games.

“And then if I felt it right, I would use him in the first team.

“That is exactly the same situation for our cup replay on Tuesday night but on Saturday I just went with other players.”

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