Richard Stearman heads into tonight’s game at Swindon insisting that Wolves are relishing and not fearing the congested fixture list which could shape their promotion destiny.
Wolves have won eight games in succession ahead of tonight’s visit to the County Ground, but it remains tight at the top of Sky Bet League One, and the experienced defender knows there is much more work to be done.
Not least against a Swindon side who ran Wolves mighty close at Molineux earlier in the season before a 3-2 win for Kenny Jackett’s side.
“We’ve got a lot of games this month but we are looking forward to it,” says Stearman.
“We want to pick up from where we left off in the last six or seven games and if we do that we will be there or thereabouts where we want to be.
“There are still 13 games left and a couple of teams right up there with us so we have to stay professional and be committed to seeing the job out.
“We are hoping to be promoted – that’s the aim – and until that is mathematically achieved there can be no let-up.
“Teams have seemed to step up their performances against us and we have had to overcome that we have managed to do so far.
“It’s something we have had to deal with to get into this position on the way to what we are wanting to do.
“We’ve had to go and face teams who have maybe added five or ten per cent to their game and still come away with three points.
“There are no easy games and everyone wants the Wolves scalp while we are trying to against that.
“It is going to be another tough game against Swindon who are looking for points themselves and will still feel they can get sixth spot.
“They came to Molineux and put on a very good performance earlier in the season.
“They were one of the better footballing sides we have played this season especially in that midfield area.”
Stearman is appreciative of the opportunity handed to him this season by Head Coach Kenny Jackett, acknowledging his departure on loan to Ipswich for the final chunk of the last campaign let him wondering about his Wolves future.
He has responded both with some fine individual displays, and forging a fine partnership with Danny Batth, also taking on a different role in the dressing room as one of the more experienced Wolves’ campaigners.
“At 26 it feels strange to be called a senior pro but there are a lot of youngsters in the team,” he says.
“It’s a role that’s new for me as I’ve always been a young player myself but it’s something I have thrived on.
“I’ve taken it on myself to try and be more of a leader and hopefully I can help us to some success this season.
“When I came back in the summer I thought that maybe my time was up here.
“I’d gone off to Ipswich to try and help them stay up and while that happened it was to the detriment of Wolves who were relegated.
“Fortunately the gaffer decided to stick with me and hopefully I have responded to that with my performances.
“It’s become a thoroughly enjoyable place to come back to work again and I think we are bringing some pride back to the city.
“I hope we are rewarding the fans for a couple of years of not so great football that they have seen and that we can continue to get better.”
Stearman continues: “It’s so far so good for the partnership with Danny.
“The stats don’t lie and we’ve got the best defence in England at the moment which is great.
“Myself and Danny have built up a good partnership as have the entire back five and we’ve been quite lucky in that it has been very settled.
“Our games complement each other well and long may that continue.
“We’ve had some good results and good performances so fingers crossed that can carry on.
“The more you play alongside someone the more you learn about their game, about where they are going to be and what they are going to do.
“We’ve been here at Wolves for a few years and know each other’s game inside out.
“We’ve worked together in training a lot before playing in the same team this season.”
*Tickets are available from the Wolves Ticket Office until 12 noon today and then again on the gate at Swindon tonight.
Swindon have also asked to inform supporters that parking for Wolves fans is available at St Joseph’s Catholic School, Ocotal Way, Swindon SN3 3LR. Charge is £10 for coaches and £5 for cars and the school is five minutes’ walk from the stadium.