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Identity Born


14:00 19th July 2012

Boss to make his mark on Wolves

Boss Ståle Solbakken has expressed his desire to create a new Wolves identity as they head into the npower Championship season.

Solbakken, who is using this week’s training camp in Ireland to put across more of his tactical ideas to his players, is keen to put his own stamp on the squad having taken over in the summer.

And he hopes that will help improve what has already been a successful squad at Championship level.

He says:  “Wolves did many things well over the last few years under Mick McCarthy so I’m not going to disrespect things he did at all.

“But there are several things I want to give to the team.

“The first is that I want to create a style of play where everyone can recognise Wolves from game to game.

“I want people to recognise our style whether we’re playing Manchester United in the FA Cup or Aldershot in the Capital One Cup.

“We want to be a team that will be 85-90 per cent the same all the time and then we have to adjust depending on the opposition for the other 10-15 per cent of the time.

“I want to everyone to recognise our style of play from game to game and that is what we’re working on at the moment.

“We want to be a team where if you come into the stadium as a neutral spectator but you don’t know which team is Wolverhampton and yet you’re told they play in a certain style, then you should only need a certain amount of knowledge to know the team playing in gold and black is Wolverhampton.

“We started that process on Wednesday and everyone will know what their colleague next to them in the team is doing.

“That’s not just as individuals, but as a unit and as a team.

“That will change a little bit from player to player depending on who’s playing in what position, but essentially, we must know what to expect from each other.

“Certainly, defensively, everyone must know what they’re doing and we’ll start working more on that.

“Defensively, that starts with Steven Fletcher and continues all through the team.”

Although keen on creating an identity, the boss is also conscious of the need for some flexibility as well, particularly given the different challenges posed in the Championship.
“I don’t mind if we mix it up a little bit, but defensively especially, everyone must know what to do with the ball, when to calm it down, when to sit deep, when to play quickly and when to play direct,” he added.

“I like to paint pictures on the training ground so everyone can see exactly what I want.

“Wolves have liked to get the ball wide and get crosses into the box in recent years.

“That’s one way to score a goal but it depends on how the game is going at a particular time and the climate of a match.

“The main thing about us must be that we’re recognised for our style of play from weekend to weekend.”

The week so far has followed a fairly regular pattern of fitness work preceding the football, and it is working well.
“The players have had two sessions a day – early morning and mid-morning,” Solbakken added.

“We use the gym in the morning and then we have a main session, and on top of that individual sessions.

“Some players did extra work on Tuesday, for instance, if a player is a little bit behind.

“Tony makes sure the players get what they need physically.

“I go in and say what I need to say tactically – we assess how tough the tactical work is I want to do, and then he adjusts the physical work accordingly.

“So in a way he’s in charge of the fitness and I’m in charge of everything else, so it all has to fit together.

“The first 10 days have more or less been physical, and gradually we have dropped in more and more football.

“Now it’s come to the part when we’re also doing tactics.

“It’s important and necessary that the players know the idea behind everything we’re doing.

“Some things are new to them and some things aren’t so new, so it’s about getting the ideas through to them then make adjustments accordingly, so we’re not introducing too many new things at once and it’s a gradual process.”

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