Kenny Jackett has highlighted the strength of Wolves’ goalkeeping department which has seen all three senior keepers hit top form this season.
Carl Ikeme continues to impress as first choice while Wayne Hennessey’s comeback from a long-term knee injury on loan with Yeovil has been positive, now backed up by two impressive displays for Wales.
And Aaron McCarey, fresh from being the penalty hero on his first Wolves start against Walsall in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, has also impressed in the Republic of Ireland Under 21 side’s two fixtures against Romania.
“Brian Clough paid record fees in their positions for two people (Peter Shilton and Trevor Francis) - one was a goalkeeper and the other was a goalscorer,” says Jackett.
“’Goalkeepers can win you games’ was a very, very famous Clough saying.
“Our goalkeeping department is a good one with Wayne playing well at Yeovil.
“He’s done very well there, we’ve been very pleased with what he’s done, and Aaron McCarey is a good goalkeeper as well.
“It’s a good position for us at present with the form of Carl, which has been outstanding for us this season.
“Between the three of them we feel we’re well covered and there’s good competition between them.
“You always do need competition.
“You can look at one good player, but quite often the department is as good as the people backing them up, keeping them on their toes.
“It’s a very good area for us, one we’re strong in and one we’re pleased with all three so far this season.
“That competition is certainly a contribution (to their form).
“It does obviously contribute to a successful team - competition does that, there’s no doubt.”
With Ikeme now 27, there is also the notion that he is heading into his best years as a goalkeeper, and Jackett believes he is continuing to improve heading towards his peak.
He added: “Carl’s distribution is something we’ve worked on, to be alert and look for an early ball to attack, because at times if the game slows down too much the team’s play can become predictable.
“While you want to play good football, pass the ball and keep it, you pass it to score goals and sometimes that needs to be done early.
“If you have a goalkeeper that looks forward early, I think it excites supporters as well.
“It’s a very positive tool for a goalkeeper to have and to develop as he comes on – someone who doesn’t only keep clean sheets but develops attacks.
“As I say It’s a strong department. Don’t rule out McCarey because he’s a very good goalkeeper as well.
“We’re pleased with them. I know all three work very hard and I’m sure they’ve spurred each other on.”