Kenny Jackett is preparing Wolves for an “exciting week” ahead as the team aim to continue their encouraging start to the season in two local derbies.
Tomorrow’s rearranged visit of Walsall (7.45pm) will be followed by a first ever competitive trip to the Greenhous Meadow to tackle Graham Turner’s Shrewsbury, with positive results needed to keep up with the hot pace at the top of Sky Bet League One.
Wolves were pushed to the limit by Swindon in winning 3-2 at Molineux on Saturday, and came through a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie with Walsall on penalties a fortnight ago, and Jackett knows they cannot afford even the slightest drop in standards.
“We know that we’re not going to get our own way at home,” says Jackett.
“We know what the expectation level is on us and also the motivation level of the opposition.
“We will have to work very hard to combat that consistently.
“It is an exciting week ahead and a big challenge for ourselves.
“We have to be very good in every game and make sure we don’t drop our standards.
“These are two very big games for us now and we can’t allow our standards to slip even by a few per cent.”
One area where Wolves have proved strong in recent weeks has been via Jackett’s use of substitutes.
Kevin McDonald and Leigh Griffiths helped bring about the last minute win against Crawley, Bjorn Sigurdarson and Lee Evans made key contributions at Port Vale, and it was Sigurdarson who set up Kevin Foley for what proved the decisive strike against Swindon.
“The fact we can have substitutes come on and make such a difference is a big positive for us,” said Jackett.
“It is very important that we continue to do that.
“The squad and the whole of the group have to realise that in order to get results we are going to need everybody.
“To win consistently you certainly need more than 11 players.”
Midfielder David Davis was one of those withdrawn on Saturday after an hour of the match.
He has been a key figure for Wolves so far this season with some impressive displays in midfield, and Jackett believes he will quickly bounce back from a rare drop in standards.
“David gave away one or two passes where he feels he could have done better,” said Jackett.
“He was disappointed with himself and we understand that.
“He sets himself high standards and is capable of it.
“Saturday wasn’t necessarily his day but it was the team’s day because we got a good result.
“For David now he needs to pick his head up, be pleased with his team-mates who fought their way over the line and set his standards to look to try and improve.
“There is no doubt he can emerge stronger because in terms of his ball-winning he can be a key player for us - it’s a very important role for us this season.”