Boss Dean Saunders today challenged his players to leave nothing on the pitch against Burnley on Saturday – insisting these are the games when you have to produce a performance.
While clearly no one among the Wolves squad was wanting to be in the current position – third from bottom with only two games remaining – Saunders believes the best players do the business on just these sorts of occasions when there is so much at stake.
And he hopes the Wolves squad rise to that challenge against Burnley in a game when only victory may be good enough to keep the club’s survival hopes alive.
“There are certain games in your career, where you have to produce a performance,” says the boss.
“If you get picked to play for England, you’ve got to go on that pitch thinking ‘this might be my last chance’, so I’ve got to play well.
“We can’t afford to have two or three players not turning up on Saturday.
“Everyone has got to be there, bringing their ‘A’ game and doing what they’re good at.
“We can’t afford the game to bypass anyone where they’re not touching the ball.
“The players, together, as a group, know how much it means and personally how much it means to them.
“Because I’m sure they don’t want to be playing in League One next season.
“A lot of them are still under contract after this season and going into League One is not good for their careers and they know that.
“We need the bounce of the ball, we need the referee to be right and everybody needs to turn up on Saturday.
“We can’t afford people coming off and saying ‘what exactly have you done today?’
“Don’t come in the dressing room afterwards and moan about this and moan about that.
“There’s no point - we need to get it right and everyone has got to play their part.
“We’ll have a plan and they have to execute it and then it’s only bad luck or bad refereeing that can stop us.
“That can always happen but hopefully it evens itself out in the next two games if we get the bounce of the ball.”
It could well take a record number of points to keep teams in the npower Championship this season, and while Saunders believes Wolves can win their last two fixtures even that may prove enough.
“If we win the next two games it would be seven wins out of 11 and that is title-winning form,” he said.
“We could win the last two games though and still be in the bottom three.
“But if you said to me, ‘can we win two games?’ I’d say yes, and we might not have to.
“We knew it would come down to this sort of scenario at the end - even if we have to win both, although obviously I was hoping it wouldn’t.
“If you look at the difference between us and Hull in second place, it’s seven points less than Liverpool are behind Man United – and Liverpool are seventh!
“So from top to bottom, there isn’t a lot of difference in this league.”