Samuel Ricketts today revealed Wolves are itching to get back out there at Molineux tonight and take on the challenge of another passing team in visitors Oldham.
After a fortnight without league action before Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Coventry, tonight’s fixture is the second of three in a busy eight-day period but the Wolves captain insists players always prefer to play rather than train.
And he says the squad are keen to continue to improve on home soil and impose the sort of fluency seen in the last away game at Colchester against visitors to Molineux.
“Any player would rather play games than train and we’re looking forward to playing again,” he says.
“It’s a night game and the atmosphere is always good under lights and it’s going to be another challenge for us.
“We’re facing another side who like to pass the ball like Swindon and Crawley did and it will be a test for us to stop them playing and implement our game on the opposition.
“It’s been interesting in that we always knew teams would raise their game to play against us this season, but I expected a lot more physical battles.
“A lot of teams have tried to cause us problems by passing the ball.
“They have shown a desire to pass the ball through us, but most of the time we have shown a desire to be more effective and it’s worked.
“We’re still growing as a side, but, as we showed at Colchester, we dominated them and killed them off with our passing game and they’re a team who have a reputation as a good passing team.
“There were times on Saturday when our interlink play in the first half dominated Coventry.
“What we try to do is play a variation of passes - long passes, not just hopeless long balls, and sometimes short passes, to mix things up.
“We’re trying to stretch the opposition and use the width of the pitch at Molineux.
“Teams come to Molineux and look to stifle the game in the middle of the park so we try to use the wings and get our wingers involved.
“We want to get back to winning games as quickly as possible and hopefully we’ll do that tonight.”
Amid the disappointment of the Sky Blues late equaliser on Saturday, Ricketts at least took comfort in the fact that Wolves snuffed out the free-scoring visitors for virtually all of the 90 minutes.
Indeed the late goal was the first conceded by Wolves in some 467 minutes.
“Coventry are arguably the best team that have come to Molineux this season,” said Ricketts.
“They’re in very good form and but for the 10-point deduction for entering administration before the start of the season would be sat in the top six on 21 points.
“So we always knew it was going to be a good test for us but I thought we played well.
“Both teams played well and looked hungry and we were disappointed not to have won the game.
“But there were lots of positives to come out of it and things to be pleased with.
“Their front two have scored 18 goals between them this season but as a team we handled them very well and kept them quiet and overall we looked solid.
“If you gave their lad that chance again 10 times I don’t think he’d connect with it as cleanly and it had to be a good strike to beat Carl Ikeme with the form he’s been in.
“Nine times out of 10 he would have saved it from that angle but he took it that well, the ball was in before he could react to it.
“Generally though, our performance was of a really good standard and you have to give them credit in the way they played and didn’t allow us to dominate.
“In the first half we created some half chances and Leigh Griffiths was only a yard away from getting on the end of one so we were there or thereabouts.”
And as Wolves return quickly to Molineux tonight (7.45pm), the captain has once again hailed the support which saw 22,939 - the second highest crowd in the entire Sky Bet Football League – through the turnstiles at the weekend.
“The fans have been magnificent and they can see we’re a team that’s hungry to succeed and they appreciate there’s no lack of effort from us,” he said.
“Even after we conceded, we still wanted to go again and get another goal back.
“I think the Wolves fans appreciate honesty and hard work and I think that’s what we’re giving them.”