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Ricketts' Return?


10:00 18th March 2014

Skipper available after thigh injury

Wolves Head Coach Kenny Jackett is pleased to have skipper Samuel Ricketts back in the squad for tonight’s trip to Crawley Town (7.45pm).

The influential captain is available again having missed Saturday’s draw against Shrewsbury with a tight thigh muscle, only the second league fixture he has been absent for this season.

Ricketts did however take one of the backroom berths available in the dugout to continue to support the team.

Now back to fitness, he returns to a squad which is otherwise the same in terms of options available as against the Shrews at the weekend.

“Sam is o-k, he trained yesterday and is added to the group and we have no other injury concerns,” said Jackett.

“He has shown good leadership this year and sometimes that is not something that is particularly visible from the stands - he has a lot of respect from within the group.

“He leads by example and vocally as well - he is a good senior professional and I am very keen that my senior professionals do lead the right way. 

“Tactically he is very aware and can make the right calls and the right changes if needed and has brought leadership on the pitch.

“He manages the team on the pitch very well, both in terms of attitude and tactically.

“Perhaps we missed him but have I got confidence in the side that we can also do well? Yes I have.”

Ricketts has been part of a Wolves defence which, whoever has been in there, has enjoyed an excellent record so far this season.

A total of 19 clean sheets from 35 games is also behind a figure of just 21 goals conceded, ten fewer than the next best record belonging to Brentford.

Jackett has highlighted the importance of those solid foundations, which will once again be needed tonight at a Crawley side beaten only once in their last ten league games.

“We have got a good basis,” said Jackett.

“We’ve got good defenders and good defenders to come in and quite a good understanding of all of our jobs defensively.

“We are not easy to score against - and that does underpin everything.

“It is not the whole equation but it is the first 50 per cent.

“Then quite obviously you have to build on it the other way.

“Giving silly goals away is something in my coaching and management - if you can eradicate that it does give you a chance.

“The aim always is to win the game, you’d prefer to win 3-2 than draw 0-0.

“One can’t take away from the other, you can’t be talking defensively completely.

“There has to be some work defensive and some work attacking and generally if you do highlight the defensive side it does feel like you are playing ‘not to lose’ than to win, so the mentality is important.

“So an underpinning of zeros and ones against you gives you every chance and eradicating poor goals against you gets you more points during the season.”

*Wolves have sold out of their allocation of 1,940 tickets for tonight’s game. Fans are encouraged to arrive early.  Click here for details.

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