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Restoring Pride


09:00 15th February 2013

Wolves looking to replicate 2009 win at Pride Park

Wolves left-back Stephen Ward admits that Pride Park will always hold fond memories for him, and is adamant that Wolves can achieve the result that could turn their season around as they travel to face Derby County this Saturday (3pm).
The Irishman is one of six members of the current squad that were involved in the dramatic finale to Wolves' last trip to Derby, in April 2009, during which Andy Keogh headed home the late winner which edged Wolves closer to promotion.
Despite the current team having a very different challenge on their hands as they fight to avoid dropping into the Championship relegation zone, Ward says that there is still a positive atmosphere among the squad as they prepare for Saturday's game.
"There has been positivity about since the new manager came him," Ward explains. "It's just about getting that one result that seems to be eluding us at the moment.
"On Saturday against Leeds we had a couple of good chances to go 2-0 up once we'd got ourselves in front, and that really could have set us on our way.
"As it was, we got hit by a sucker punch when their lad produced a good finish, and that's the way it seems to be going for us at the moment," he continues.
"Having said that, we showed good spirit to come back, but now we really need those three points which hopefully won't be too far away."
Wolves were finding wins far easier to come by during their last Championship campaign, and it was that dramatic win at Derby - combined with other results on that day - that paved the way for Mick McCarthy's side to seal a return to the Premier League against Queens Park Rangers the following week.
Ward was a 70th minute substitute that day, and along with the likes of Wayne Hennessey, Kevin Foley, Christophe Berra, Dave Edwards and Karl Henry, will return to Pride Park with good memories of the 3-2 victory.
"I think that was one of the most significant games in the promotion season," Ward recalls. 
"We were 2-1 down going into the last fifteen minutes, then Jarvis and Keogh scored and we turned it round and ended up winning 3-2.
"A couple of games later we were promoted as champions, so that result combined with another couple going in our favour that day was a real turning point for us, so we do have fond memories of Pride Park."
Despite that result though, Ward acknowledges that the changes at Molineux during the four years since the win means it will have little relevance as the teams take to the field this time around.
Wolves travel to the East Midlands still looking for their first victory under Dean Saunders, whereas Derby are looking to close the gap between them and the play-offs, which currently stands at eight points.
"It's always nice to have good memories of a ground," continues Ward. "It's been a long time since we've been there though, and a lot of things have changed, so I'm not sure it'll make too much of a difference.
"Obviously though it is better going to a stadium where you've had success in the past, as opposed to somewhere where your previous results haven't been too good." 


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