Keeper Carl Ikeme is preparing to try and shut out former pal Leon Clarke on Saturday conscious that Wolves are heading into a crucial stage of the season.
Wolves welcome Coventry to Molineux on Saturday (3pm), with Ikeme up against his former Academy team-mate Clarke who has hit a rich vein of form with the Sky Blues.
For the Molineux Men it’s about trying to continue an impressive start to the season which has seen them glean 25 points from 10 games, although enough only for third place at present behind Leyton Orient and Peterborough.
“It’s been a good start for us so far,” says Ikeme.
“Leyton Orient have been flying and Peterborough have done really well but it’s been a good return for us to take 25 points from ten games.
“We’re heading into the tough period now as you head into winter and a tough couple of months with some cold nights and when some of the pitches might not be the best away from home.
“It’s going to be time to dig in really and push on to try and keep this sort of average going to keep us in there.
“I think the next couple of months will sort out what it is that different teams will be fighting for especially with Saturday-Tuesday games like we’ve got when we come back at the weekend.
“I’m looking forward to all the games and trying to keep Wolves up there where it matters.
“It’s not the business end of the season by any means but it is a period which will have a massive say on how things will look.
“If we can stay up there amongst it until after Christmas that is what you need to get into a position to really push on and try and finish the season well.
“It’s another block of games for us now up until Christmas and we want to stay in this sort of position or even better heading into the New Year.
“All games are important but after the start we’ve had there’s a good chance for us to push on now.”
Twenty-eight-year-old Clarke meanwhile spent his formative years at Molineux, scoring 15 goals in Wolves colours, and he has already grabbed eight in Coventry’s goal-laden opening to the current campaign.
Ikeme believes the Wolverhampton-born striker will enjoy coming back to Molineux where he kicked off his career.
“I’ve known Leon for a long time now,” he says.
“We came through the Academy together so we have been mates for at least ten years.
“Obviously, he has moved on and he’s scored goals pretty much wherever he has played.
“I still speak to him quite regularly and the last time was just a few days ago.
“A lot of the lads that came through the youth system together tend to keep in touch and I’ve followed Leon’s progress wherever he has played.
“I’m sure that, as the week goes on, I’ll be hearing something from him about Saturday’s game.
“He’s having a good season but hopefully I’ll keep him quiet.
“Coventry are having a good season as well and if they hadn’t been deducted ten points at the start of it, they would be in the top six.
“And a lot of the goals that Leon and Callum Wilson have scored will have helped and I’m sure that Leon will want to score on his return to Molineux.
“He had a bit of a mixed time here but he was young and a hometown lad so perhaps that made it difficult for him to settle in. But I’m sure he will enjoy coming back.”
*Hospitality Packages are still available to purchase for this Saturday’s match against Coventry City, from £48 inc VAT. Packages include on site car parking, padded seats, matchday programmes, a complimentary drink plus much more. Hospitality sales will close at 5pm on Thursday 17th October. For more information or to book, please email firstname.lastname@example.org call 0871 222 2220 (option 4) or visit www.corporatewolves.co.uk