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Exciting Times

PUBLISHED

11:30 15th April 2014

Gaffer relishing future challenge

Kenny Jackett remains firmly focused on the final four games of the season and urging his players to go on and clinch the Sky Bet League One title.

But with promotion secured, work can step up behind the scenes on looking ahead to the 2014/15 season back in the Championship.

And the Head Coach is confident that Wolves will be able to improve and strengthen as they consider life back in the second tier.

“It’s a big league and a very competitive one,” says Jackett.

“Having worked in all four divisions, I think the gap from top to bottom in the Championship is closest.

“Usually there’s a gap in the resources between the top and the bottom, but not in the Championship.

“And the loan system is used extensively there to make sure it’s close.

“The bigger clubs have more players and for clubs near the bottom, you can get players with quite a lot of Championship experience.

“You can also get Premier League youngsters with good pedigrees who want to play in the Championship because it’s such a big league, and that makes it very competitive.

“It’s not a case of the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ in that league at present – that’s why it’s so tight.

“For us it’s exciting times and it will be exciting for me at Wolves.”

On the potential to improve the squad, Jackett added:  “We hope that when we improve, it will be significant improvements.

“But we want to keep a wage structure so that there is parity in the dressing room, because that helps foster a strong team spirit.

“It won’t be major surgery – I won’t be making many signings – but I think a drip-feed of new players is needed throughout the course of a season.

“It will be little, and often, but it will need to be improved.

“But I am very confident of the group going into the Championship.

“When you look at the 20 or so players we took to Crewe, they’re all capable of handling it.”

The summer will also include plenty of discussions about the numerous players who will be returning to Wolves after loan spells elsewhere.

For some young players those loan spells have been about gaining experience elsewhere, while for others it was about giving them a fresh start as Jackett looked to revamp the Wolves set-up.

“I think of those out on loan, quite a high number will come back,” said Jackett.

“But if they haven’t done this time, it is unlikely they will be involved next season and break their way in.

“You can’t say for definite but it’s fair to assume we’ve moved on.

“They are contracted players so if there are deals right for the club, we’ll consider it, and if not they’ll be coming back.

“We also have young players who have been out on loan for experience such as Jordan Cranston, Bradley Reid, Michael Ihiekwe, Jake Cassidy, Dominic Iorfa and Zeli Ismail, who I think will be going back to Burton Albion over the weekend or maybe Monday after his hamstring injury.

“That’s all part of having a Category One Academy and, at the top end of it, they need to get experience.

“When you look at Carl Ikeme and Danny Batth, they have been terrific players for us and look like they have big futures here.

“But they’ve done that after having successful loan spells elsewhere.”

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