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Getting Molineux To Believe

PUBLISHED

11:30 7th December 2012

Boss keen to lay down marker

Boss Ståle Solbakken admits tomorrow’s Midlands derby with Birmingham is a “big game” in offering Wolves a chance to post back-to-back wins – but says nothing can be predicted in the npower Championship.

 

Wolves return to Molineux in search of a first home win in seven with fresh reserves of confidence thanks to an excellent 4-1 win at Bristol City last weekend.

 

The boss knows a Birmingham side just one point behind Wolves in the table have it within their capabilities to provide a stern test, but thinks victory could once again have the Molineux faithful ready to “believe”.

 

“It’s a big game for us - a chance to get everyone onside and a chance to get back-to-back wins, which would help,” said the boss.

 

“Clearly we need points in the short term, but from what I’ve learned about this league, it’s impossible to say we’re going to go out and do this or that because the Championship changes so much.

 

“It’s also a big game maybe in terms of getting fans to believe that we’re on the right track again, and to get back-to-back wins before two difficult away games coming up, and to win at home again.

 

“It’s been six home games without a win, but we could have won all of them because there have been such small margins.

 

“There hasn’t been one home game where I couldn’t say that.

 

“We were in front against Palace, Bolton, Charlton, Brighton and Forest.”

 

Blues arrive at Molineux on the back of a good result themselves, beating Middlesbrough 3-2 with Marlon King’s brace taking his season’s tally to 13.

 

Hence why Solbakken knows what is in store.

 

“They’re in a similar situation to us – we both have more or less the same amount of points,” he said.

 

“They got into the play-offs last season and played Blackpool; they’re another team who can beat any other on their day.

 

“They showed that against Middlesbrough when they came back twice in that game.

 

“I think they’re a strong, physical side if they play Zigic and King up front.

 

“We know we’re going to have to deal with some balls into the penalty area, and then it’s not just about dealing with the first ball, but more importantly, the second ball.

 

“And I think we have to make sure we try to keep the ball out of our penalty area and instead put pressure on the ball, so they can’t do that.

 

“King has scored a few goals and they’re strong on setpieces – I think Curtis Davies has scored five or six goals in the league.”

 

The boss is also hoping his team can play with their heads as well as their feet amid what could be a passionate derby.

 

He admits there is very little let-up in the Championship, but that Wolves could have been even more comfortable in the second half at Ashton Gate.

 

He added:  “What I think is a little bit different (about the Championship) is the playing style is very demanding.

 

“A good example was at Bristol City when we were leading 4-0, there was 20 minutes left, and still players are charging around all over the pitch.

 

“As I said to the players afterwards, if you keep your shape, you will get many more chances because the other team wants to go forwards and the game will open up.

 

“But instead, what happened was we also opened up, and it was a case of ‘bang, bang, bang’ and our worst period of the game was the last 18-20 minutes.

 

“We were 4-0 up but it could have been six or seven.

 

“So it’s also about using the inside of the head as well as the outside.

 

“Obviously there are a lot of physical battles as well as a lot of games, and I’m sure those things put together make it difficult for some foreign players.”

 

 

 

 

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