Kenny Jackett is looking for Wolves to prove they can respond to losing three key players through injury and make a positive return to action against Bolton at Molineux tonight (7.45pm).
Already without Jordan Graham and Michal Zyro, Wolves lost Dave Edwards in the most recent game with Queens Park Rangers ten days ago, and Jackett says other players must come in and take their opportunities.
With Benik Afobe and Scott Golbourne also leaving the club during January – and Zyro, Mike Williamson and Joe Mason coming in – Jackett is backing his reshaped squad to push on for the remainder of the season.
“We need to continue to build and develop the team and cannot afford to stand still,” says the Head Coach.
“It is funny how quickly football can change.
“Where we started building the team around Dicko and Afobe, for different reasons they are not here although Nouha will be back at the start of next season.
“For us now it is about the team evolving and improving and continuing to work towards closing that gap between ourselves and the top teams in the league.
“We have lost three players to injury and have to work hard to replace those qualities.
“Dave Edwards is a big influence on our side because of his experience.
“He wins the ball back well and is very good off the ball and they are qualities you do need in a successful side.
“We have to work hard to replace that.
“Jordan had a big impact too and is a very good natural outlet.
“He has had a very high end product as well.
“There are opportunities for others and when those players come back they will make us stronger.
“As one player leaves another comes in and we want to come out of the other side and work again at developing new strengths.
“The team still has to be effective both defensively and in attack – there are opportunities for other people and we have to come through as a team.”
Wolves head into the game following the closure of the transfer window, with Jackett looking for his three senior signings to make an impression.
He also explained why he wasn’t on the lookout for a left back following Golbourne’s departure, backing the recent performances of Matt Doherty and the fact Kortney Hause can also play there and Sylvain Deslandes is waiting in the wings.
“I am very pleased with Matt Doherty’s performances at left back,” said Jackett.
“He is a good attacking full back and he has also defended well.
“When you see him at Queens Park Rangers cutting inside and having a good shot that is something that we want him to continue to do.
“He can get forward and help us.
“Kortney Hause has some experience playing there and he is only a week or two away from full fitness and in Sylvain Deslandes we have a very good young left back as well.
“I think he is ready to play now, maybe if he has some experience in the centre inside of him.
“He has some size and power and they are the players competing for that position at the moment.”
Jackett continued: “I am pleased with the three signings we have made.
“We feel both short and long term will really well help us.
“We are disappointed Afobe went but it was the right decision and only thing we could do in the circumstances.
“We have brought in three first team players and also three very good young players just beneath who will be looking to develop and, sooner rather than later, get into Wolves first team.”