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Midfield Options


12:05 24th September 2013

Jackett assesses Davis suspension

Kenny Jackett is confident he has plenty of options to replace the suspended David Davis as Wolves tackle Sheffield United on Saturday (3pm).

Davis has been an ever-present during Wolves’ encouraging start to the season, but that run will come to an end after picking up his fifth booking in Saturday’s 1-0 win at former loan club Shrewsbury.

And that leaves Wolves’ Head Coach mulling over other possibilities ahead of the visit of the Blades.

“Lee Evans, Jack Price and Dave Edwards are the midfield players we have,” he said.

“In terms of a defensive-minded options, we’ve got different types of player to David Davis.

“We’ve got passers, attacking midfield players and runners.

“There’s maybe no one with the power that David Davis has who’s available.

“He’s not available due to suspension this weekend and we’ll see what type of reaction the players put in because while we think we can play better than we have, we also have to consider the motivation level of the opposition.

“No one thought it would be easy for us in this division – no one ever said it would be easy and that’s proving to be the case.

“But us having 19 points from eight games is a very good total, and the heart, soul and the competition and the drive of the team is considerable, and we shouldn’t underestimate that.”

Evans meanwhile had been involved in all eight of the fixtures for which he was available prior to Saturday, but found himself out of the 18 at Greenhous Meadow.

Jackett has been encouraged by the Welshman’s first sustained league football, and while opting to change things around on Saturday is backing Evans to respond positively.

“For him, I wanted him still to be a part of the travelling squad to leave him right out of it though to perhaps look at other options coming on as substitute,” said Jackett.

“And then it’s about for him to say ‘I’ve done very well, I’m 19-years-old, I’ve played the first seven games for Wolves, which is a big club, and when I go back in, I’ll be better and I’m going to learn from what I’ve done’.

“He’s had some very good games this season, and some not do good ones, but that’s what young players do.

“But I’ve got a lot of faith in him and he’s got a tremendous future.

“Whether I put him back into the team now or wait, I think that the performance level he’s showed in the few games at the start of season have convinced me he has a terrific future.

“He’s a good professional and he understood.

“He was disappointed because all players want to play but the midfield area hasn’t necessarily quite been right in the balance of things.

“Looking to change and trying different options is something that’s a manager’s or head coach’s prerogative.”

Meanwhile Leigh Griffiths was set to return to training today having missed yesterday’s session with the sore ankle which forced him off at Shrewsbury.

Kevin Doyle is not yet ready to train with his thigh strain as Jackett monitors the fitness of two of his front-line strikers ahead of the weekend.

“We’ll see by the middle or the end of this week on Doyle,” said the Head Coach.

“He’s not training yet but he’s got a chance. 

“I think Leigh should train today – that’s the plan.

“It’s just swelling on the ankle that we anticipate, or has already, gone down, whereas with Doyle, it’s a thigh strain that showed up a very small tear on the scan.

“It’s muscular which may be a bit more difficult.

“As soon as the swelling from Griffiths’s ankle goes down, he’ll be o-k.

“There’s no damage to his ligaments.”

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