While satisfied with many parts of today’s 2-2 draw with Championship side Barnsley, Head Coach Kenny Jackett is still looking for more improvement from his players ahead of the big Sky Bet League One kick off at Preston on August 3.
Back at Oakwell, one of the site of last season’s big disappointments with a 2-1 defeat, a more youthful Wolves side enjoyed the better of the first half, goals from Zeli Ismail and Danny Batth either side of Jacob Mellis’s leveller, putting the visitors in front.
But the Tykes hit back after the break, Chris O’Grady restoring parity once again, the game finishing 2-2 and leaving Wolves still unbeaten under Jackett after four games of pre-season.
The Head Coach however is not resting on his laurels, and will be urging the squad on to find even more quality before the season starts.
He said: “Barnsley are a good team and the whole club is in a positive place at the moment after a fantastic second half to the season.
“It is always a tough game here, it is a step up and was a good workout.
“I felt we did o-k, but I also think there is a lot of improvement in us – we still need to keep working and improving.
“We scored a couple of good goals and it was a competitive performance.
“I’m not disappointed in the performance but feel there is more to come from us.
“It is still pre-season and a new group with new combinations but there were some positives and we will continue to work hard.”
There were positives for Jackett, in particular the performance of striker Jake Cassidy, defensive duo Richard Stearman and Danny Batth, and a first goal on his first senior start for Zeli Ismail.
And the Head Coach knows Wolves will need a quality-filled squad – not just starting eleven – to enjoy success this season.
“I would look at Cassidy’s performance and say that was a positive one,” said Jackett.
“Since coming on at half time at Wrexham he has shown a lot in the game and a half.
“I thought for the first half Zeli played very well.
“In the second he didn’t quite impose himself as much as he did in the first half.
“But he got a good goal and showed a good first half performance.
“There were bits and pieces from many different people and it looked a good centre back pairing in terms of Batth and Stearman.
“We scored from a set piece and if you can get a defender to chip in like that on a semi-regular basis that’s a big bonus as well.
“They are both good individual players and have had good pre-seasons individually.
“In terms of our defence, with Foley still to come back from injury, we should have a good back four combination there throughout the season.
“We are just looking for the right one and the winning one but that can always change with injuries and suspensions throughout the season.
“If I am right with my calculations I think there is the potential for 13 games through August and September and that is an important period for the club and an important period for the team.
“We have to make sure we are ready to compete on all fronts and in all positions and to do that we will need more than 11 players.”
In terms of the absentees Jackett says Bakary Sako might well have been risked had it been a league game and could therefore be available for Chesterfield on Tuesday night.
Kevin Doyle meanwhile will be checked out for any reaction after making his comeback in a behind-closed-doors training ground friendly with West Ham at Compton today.
Doyle played for the first 45 minutes, and won the penalty converted by Tim Jakobsson, in the 3-2 win.
The other goals came from a Stephen Ward header and Jamie O’Hara free kick with those two players – both currently available for transfer – figuring today as well as defender Roger Johnson.
The final member of the quartet for whom Wolves are willing to listen to offers – Karl Henry – didn’t feature with Jackett telling the press after today’s game there has been interest in the midfielder from Queens Park Rangers.
“There is nothing concrete at the moment,” said Jackett.
“If you are asking me if there has been any interest, Queens Park Rangers are interested in Karl Henry but no deal has been done.
“There have been conversations but I don’t think they have come to a head and at present he is a Wolves player.”
And Jackett is still keen to bring in more fresh faces as he looks to rebuild the squad.
“As a manager you are always looking for one or two,” he added.
“We are working hard at trying to identify potential targets and that won’t stop – it’s an ongoing process.
“I am pleased with the players’ work ethic and with this group I think there is improvement there.
“But it is a definite that somewhere along the line we have to try to add and improve from outside as well.”