Kenny Jackett today rejected suggestions Roger Johnson has refused to play for Wolves’ Under-21s, and said there is continued dialogue with the transfer-listed players about what is best for their fitness.
The opportunity has been there for those available for transfer to turn out for the Under-21s, with Jamie O’Hara having played the last two fixtures, but Johnson prefers to concentrate on his training regime.
Jackett, who has said all of the players have continued to train well, is comfortable with either position, and says if he wanted Johnson to get some game time he is satisfied he would play.
“Roger didn’t refuse to play but he feels that at present the training is keeping him fit and he doesn’t need the games,” said the Head Coach.
“I’m not one that makes people play in the Under-21s.
“If the senior players want to play, I can suggest I think it’s best for whatever reason.
“Take Jamie O’Hara as an example; the possibilities of people coming to watch him are there if he plays to make himself available and make himself and feel match-fit.
“I would speak to the player but in no way would I implement it and say ‘I want people to play’.
“But I’m sure if I’d have said I wanted Roger to play, he would have.
“He is not in my plans and whatever he needs to do to keep himself fit to move on is fine.
“We have a lot of young players here for the Under-21s to be made up of them.
“It’s one that’s up for discussion as to what is the best thing for the player to keep them fit and make them available to move.”
Johnson, O’Hara and Stephen Ward – who has now joined Brighton on a season-long loan – had previously turned out in behind-closed-doors friendlies at Compton.
Jackett added: “The other angle to it is take Stephen Ward; he played the first game but not the next, because a move was imminent.
“He felt he’d done enough where a game kept him ticking over and then he didn’t want to play in another and then the next week, he got a move.
“There are arguments for both and that’s why I’m open to each case being available to each individual.
“Some people would say ‘I’m o-k, I feel fine and ready to play but I don’t want to get injured’, whereas other players would say ‘I’m a player that needs to play.
“I can see the arguments for both and each individual is different.
“If I feel someone needs to play, then they’re playing. That’s it.”