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Keeping It Tight


09:58 10th October 2012

Ikeme relishing seeing games out

Keeper Carl Ikeme has pinpointed the need for Wolves to see games out as crucial to any hopes of npower Championship success this season.

And on that score the signs have been reasonably positive, with Wolves having only squandered one winning opportunity late on in the opening ten games when Derby struck an injury time equaliser at Molineux.

Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Blackburn offered another case in point, as Wolves confidently played out the closing stages of the game after Bakary Sako’s impressive finish.

Ikeme admits he quite relishes those final stages when opposition teams are pushing forward in search of an equaliser!

“To be honest I enjoy it and find it quite exciting,” he says.

“I look forward to those situations and knowing I’ve got to come out for crosses and so on.

“You know it’s coming and we’ve also got a lot of height in the team as well.

“I don’t feel nervous and I don’t think we as a team feel nervous in these situations.

“Roger and Christophe are great in there as well and were heading everything away on Saturday.

“It’s all about concentration as well because there are a lot of tight games in the Championship and you need to stay with it because one chance either way can win a game.

“The Premier League is a different league with more quality so it is more difficult to win games.

“But this season we have been defending well, not just as a back four but also as a team, and have been managing to see games out.

“We do look more solid, especially in the last four or five games, and most of the time when we’ve gone in front we’ve taken the points.”

Ikeme continues:  “I thought we deserved the win against Blackburn.

“We created more chances than them and it was good to see it through.

“It was always going to be a tough game because they were a good side.

“We always felt we could nick a goal and maybe it took longer than we thought because we had chances in the first half.

“When it comes it comes and Sako scored so we will take it!”

When it comes to Sako, the Birmingham-born keeper admits the winger has added an increased threat to the Wolves’ attack since arriving in the summer.

“He is a character!” says Ikeme.

“He speaks decent English so we can understand him.

“He smiles a lot and he’s got every reason to at the moment hasn’t he?!

“He has made us look very dangerous from set pieces and when he’s in the position he can certainly hit it.

“It was a good job the net was there because he would have taken out someone in the stand!

“He’s got a rocket of a left foot.”

Nineteen points from the first ten games has been a more than decent return for Wolves after a summer of uncertainty, with the defence in particular – four clean sheets in the last six – also looking much stronger.

And the character and spirit within the squad is growing by the game, with victory at Ewood Park the perfect response to the first home defeat of the season at the hands of Crystal Palace.

“We have started the season well,” says Ikeme.

“It was a bit shaky at first with the uncertainty and a lot of new faces but everyone has settled down now and we look a good side.

“It was difficult for the manager and for everyone when we didn’t know who was coming and going.

“But the players he has brought in are quality players and they have bedded in well.

“The back four were quality again on Saturday and whoever was on the pitch were getting their tackles and blocks in.

“They have been brilliant in the last few games putting their bodies on the line and we have been reaping the rewards with some clean sheets.

“They have been keeping the ball away from me a lot which is always nice!

“It was massive that we were able to bounce back straightaway.

“It was a shock to lose to Palace in midweek and I don’t think we deserved to lose that one.

“That is the league for you and it made it important for us to come away with something from Blackburn.”

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