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Irish Eyes Are Smiling


09:56 2nd April 2013

Hunt upbeat after third successive win

Stephen Hunt has admitted that Wolves are riding the 'crest of a wave' at the moment, and has urged his team-mates to maintain their momentum going into the final weeks of the season.

The Irishman netted the opening goal of yesterday's vital 3-2 Midlands derby win against Birmingham City at St Andrews - Wolves' third victory on the bounce and fourth in the last five nPower Championship games.

Hunt has played a starring role in each of the last three wins, and explained after yesterday's game that the mood in the camp is understandably positive after Wolves took the maximum points haul from the Easter weekend.

"We're on the crest of a wave and we want to stay there," he said. "We want to keep everything positive, try not to look down the table and concentrate on the next game.

"There is a good buzz in the camp and a good feeling now - we seem to have the right mix to win games. We're playing the right style of football for the Championship.

"There's still a bit of work to do yet though, and now we've got to refocus and recharge the batteries after the tough games we've had and look forward to Bolton on Saturday."

Hunt's strike at St Andrews was the first of three goals in a devastating 17 minute spell, during which Sylvan Ebanks-Blake also netted twice to give the visitors a 3-0 half time advantage.

Although Birmingham came out fighting in the second half, and reduced the deficit through two Wade Elliott goals, Hunt believes that Wolves deserved to take home the points from what was their second outing in 48 hours.

He explained: "We were just happy to get the points in the end. That made it six points in three days but although we were disappointed to give away the goals, I don't think it was tiredness, it was just individual mistakes.

"The first one was a penalty although it seemed harsh as Jamie O'Hara didn't even tackle their player, but you learn from your mistakes. When you're 3-0 up, you can get a bit lackadaisical, so we're just glad of the three points.

"In the first half, we were under pressure but we didn't crumble and then we had a 15-minute period where we just went bang, bang, bang and all but killed the game off.

"They came back and they had a go but on the day, we were probably the better team."

The run of wins has seen Wolves jump to 18th in the league table, albeit still just a single point clear of the drop zone.

However, Wolves' form has coincided with many of their relegation rivals also gaining points and momentum, and Hunt believes that the relegation dogfight will continue to bring out the best from teams that are fighting to preserve their Championship status.

"It's not just us - it's everyone's form. Everyone seems to be picking up good results around us and fair play to them," he says. "If you're fighting for your lives, you've got to have the mentality we had five or six years ago when we didn't have much in our careers.

"People at the bottom are fighting for their careers at the moment and we've got to have the same attitude."

After returning from a long lay-off of his own, Hunt was introduced in place of the injured Bakary Sako against Bristol City a fortnight ago, and has since been instrumental in Wolves' upturn in fortunes.

He admits that while he is delighted with his personal form, he is eager for his injury-free run to continue for long enough for Wolves fans to see the best of his talents.

"I'm just buzzing to be playing again after 15 months with injuries. It's just great to be pain-free and to be able to run around, and to have these two games in three days was a good test for me."

He continued: "I only went off on Saturday (against Middlesbrough) with cramp - I had no pain from my hip or my groin so I take that with unbelievable pleasure.

"If you'd asked me three or four weeks ago if I could have played two games in three days, I'd have probably said no, but you get going, you get the belief back and you're happy enough.

"I get paid by Wolverhampton Wanderers so I want to play well for them - whoever you play for, once you cross that white line you have to give your all.

"I've got a point to prove here for sure. They haven't seen the best of me on a consistent basis, but that's three or four games now where I've been on a good run, and hopefully it will continue."

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