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Forward Planning


10:30 1st January 2014

Jackett assessing all options

Kenny Jackett has backed Leigh Griffiths and Kevin Doyle to come back firing for Wolves as he plots a forward path for 2014.

Both players have found themselves on the bench in the last two games but as Wolves kick off the New Year with two games in three days at Tranmere and Gillingham, Jackett says they remain very much in his thoughts.

“In terms of the front two positions, the main selection process during the course of the season has been Griffiths and Doyle, particularly early on,” he explained.

“In recent weeks I’ve tried different combinations and the latest was Jacobs and Cassidy which I felt functioned really well.

“It was interesting to see how that developed with two relatively young players at 20 and 22 years old.

“They complemented each other, which is what you’re looking for.

“We have plenty of options in there with Doyle and Griffiths being substituted.

“I’ll see who I think are the best people to take us forward because it’s a very important and a vital position.

“Griffiths and Doyle have been fine.

“Attitude-wise there have been no problems and I’m sure they’re ready to fire and come back into the side and hold their place.

 “Leigh certainly looked that way against Crewe where he lifted us for the last half an hour.

“He didn’t quite have the same impact against Leyton Orient but we couldn’t quite get him away.

“I wouldn’t say time is running out (for Doyle/Griffiths combination).

“I’ve looked at other permutations and other areas but I wouldn’t say I’m against either player or that time is running out for them.

“If they haven’t started, they’ve been coming off the bench so they’re close to it and looking to battle back and get their place back.

“You’re always looking and assessing the balance of the team - who starts, your consistency and team selection - but I also desperately want to win and control games as a big club.

“Rather than focus on any one individual, team selection is my choice.”

One striker who has found himself completely out of the 18 over the Christmas period is Bjorn Sigurdarson.

Whilst Jackett has not held any discussions over the striker’s long term future, he acknowledges players are never going to be happy when they are out of the team.

“I’ve had discussions with Bjorn and I think he’s capable of more in terms of when he’s played,” said the Head Coach.

“In recent games I’ve looked at other permutations with three or four strikers.

“Strikers is the one department which has changed constantly.

“It’s been a settled goalkeeper, back four and wide areas and quite a settled central midfield apart from injuries.

“The rotation has been in the centre-forward positions to try to get the best permutation for the club.

“For Bjorn going forward, in different systems and different positions whether centre forward or wide right and whether in a one or in a two, he’s had different opportunities at different times.

“No one is happy being out of the squad or out of the team.

“There have been no discussions between Kevin, myself and Bjorn about his own particular future.

“It does cast doubts on somebody if they’re not being selected – I understand that.”

Elsewhere Jackett is expecting discussions on whether Sheffield Wednesday want to extend the loan for defender Roger Johnson.

He has also confirmed that Kevin Foley and Jamie O’Hara remain available for loan.

“Kevin Foley hasn’t been in the 18 very much and I would be open to him going and he knows that,” said Jackett.

“I’ve been very surprised no one has come in for him.

“Jamie O’Hara is also available for loan.

“David Davis and George Elokobi will be in the 18 for Tranmere and Gillingham so they’re firmly in my plans right now.

“But the ones who haven’t been in the 18 on a consistent basis if the phone did ring, I’m sure we’d consider it.”

Jackett also reported nothing imminent at present in terms of any further potential new arrivals as the transfer window re-opens.

“We’re not close to something this week, in terms of suddenly a player comes in for Friday night,” he added.

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