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No Fixture Fuss

PUBLISHED

09:32 3rd January 2014

Jackett wants Wolves to rise to test

Kenny Jackett insists Wolves will have no complaints about the hectic Christmas schedule as they prepare for a second away game in three days at Gillingham this evening (7.45pm).

Wolves have been handed quickfire trips firstly in Merseyside at Tranmere on Wednesday and then at Priestfield this evening in a fixture brought forward to be screened live on Sky.

To add to that Gillingham’s game at Stevenage on Wednesday was postponed and Wolves head into tonight with Richard Stearman suspended and Carl Ikeme, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Matt Doherty, Jack Price, Liam McAlinden and James Henry all either missing or battling with injury.

But Jackett is not looking for any of those excuses, preferring instead for Wolves to focus on the challenge of trying to put on a good performance for the cameras and collect a vital three points.

“We go to Priestfield and, like Prenton Park, it is certainly not going to be easy for us,” he said.

“We have to make sure we’re right against what will be a high motivation level for the opposition.

“After that we’ve got to get the equation right.

“I’m pleased with the football we’re playing and with the spirit, but we perhaps just need to be more ruthless in front of goal and find the equation going forward so we can capitalise on a dominant performance possession-wise.

“It will be different down at their place, and certainly a different game to the one at Molineux earlier in the season.

“Peter Taylor has done very well since he’s been at the club and no game is easy, and we never expect them to be.

“Their game was postponed on Wednesday but it is what it is and we’ve got a chance and an opportunity after we were frustrated at Tranmere because we had so much of the game and so much of the ball.

“The game is there and it’s live on Sky so we all think it’s a great opportunity to put on a good show and a good presentation of what we can do.”

Jackett continued:  “Some of our competitors are playing in the FA Cup so won’t be playing in the League.

“It is what it is and we have to make the best of it.

“I don’t think it’s something we should moan about – we’re full-time professionals and we should be able to turn it around to play on Wednesday afternoon and Friday night.

“There are a lot of games over this period and basically we have to get on with it, make the most of it and win games.

“I don’t think it’s something we should be serving up as an excuse.

“I’ve got no complaints – let’s turn it the other way and see if we can win and put pressure on the other teams, because if we can, we’ll be in a good situation.

“I see it as an opportunity rather than a disadvantage and I certainly don’t think it should be offered up as an excuse in a title race.

“You just have to concentrate on winning the games, and if you do that, the pressure is on the other teams.”

Jackett has seen Leyton Orient strike out on an excellent run earlier in the season and now Brentford, who are top thanks to winning 12 of their last 13 and drawing the other, at Molineux.

The Head Coach has challenged Wolves, who could join the Bees on 52 points with victory tonight, to go on a similar sort of run to continue their promotion challenge.

“No one said it would be easy in this division for Wolves,” he explains.

“But if we’d been offered 48 points as we had at the halfway stage of the season, I think we’d have taken it.

“It does show what a pace the division has set off on.

“Brentford have won 12 out of 13 which is a fantastic run and it’s the sort of run that we want to be doing.

“Congratulations to them but it shows it can be done.

“That’s our aim and what we want to be doing in the next dozen games if we can.”

What then of the need for a reshuffle given the defensive absentees this evening?

Jackett is typically philosophical.

“We will have to make these changes and keep going and I think we are capable of that,” he said.

“We have some variable players like Sam Ricketts who can play in different positions or experienced players like Elokobi and Scott Golbourne, who I thought was excellent when he came on against Tranmere.

“There are opportunities for other people.

“You know that is going to happen and that injuries will come and they will come in tough games.”

*Wolves have sold 779 tickets in advance for tonight’s game but further tickets will be available on the door.

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