Head Coach Kenny Jackett has challenged Wolves not to dip below their recent high standards despite the need for a changed team against Walsall tonight (7.45pm).
Wolves are missing four players from the 18 named for Saturday’s win at Port Vale, with Sam Ricketts, Leigh Griffiths, Lee Evans and Jake Cassidy all away on international duty.
Scott Golbourne (back) and Kevin Doyle (quad) are also doubts, while Jackett was also going to assess Bakary Sako before deciding whether he is ready to return.
“It’s our next game and I want to win – I don’t want to lose any games,” said Jackett.
“We have to make a number of changes with four lads unavailable through international duty as well as making late decisions on others.
“I’m not worried if it is a changed squad because we have a strong squad with players who need opportunities.
“I still expect a well-balanced team that will not be too young or weak not to do well because there will be players who will want to do well to prove they can contribute to this season.
“As a competition it may not be as important for us as the league but it is our next game and we want to win.
“Dean Smith has said how much he and his players are looking forward to this game and to playing at Molineux.
“It’s a very big game for every set of opposition and in particular the local clubs.
“We know the motivation level of the opposition in this league is very high.
“We have to be ready for it and overcome it, then play our football with quality and always have a desire to win.”
The tournament may have had many different sponsors since, but it gave Wolves a hugely enjoyable day out at Wembley when over 80,000 saw the 2-0 victory over Burnley 25 years ago.
It’s also one with fond memories for Jackett, who won it while with Swansea in 2006.
“I was fortunate enough to win this competition and it was a fantastic occasion and a fantastic day,” he says.
“A Wembley trip would be an excellent bonus to our priority this season and is an opportunity you should never under-estimate or pass over easily.”
Sako meanwhile had stated he was not in the right frame of mind to feature on Saturday after being the subject of interest, but had assured Jackett he would be fully committed to Wolves if remaining beyond the closure of the transfer window.
With that now the case, Jackett has no qualms about the player’s attitude whether or not he features tonight or instead returns to the fray against Swindon in 12 days time.
“He’s a good professional and a good personality and I’m sure he’ll re-focus and adjust to the circumstances in front of him,” said Jackett.
“He loves playing football and he’s a very good trainer so I’d expect his enthusiasm to come back when things settle for him.
“There’s no reason whatsoever why he shouldn’t carry on being the player he’s been for us.”
Jackett meanwhile has confirmed that Danny Batth is tonight’s likely captain in the absence of Ricketts.
“I would say Danny Batth will be captain,” he said.
“He’s made a good and bright start to the season and he’s talked well and taken responsibility.
“Although he hasn’t got a lot of responsibility playing for our club, he plays in the right position to lead the side, and is the right type of person to take it on in the absence of Sam Ricketts.
“Ray Wilkins was 19 when he first captained Chelsea and Gerry Francis was 23 when he captained England so it just shows you that it doesn’t matter how old you are.”
*Black armbands will be worn this evening in memory of former Wolves midfielder Barry Stobart, who passed away last week at the age of 75. Barry’s widow Maureen and other family members will lay flowers pitchside before the teams come out.