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Smells Like Premier League

PUBLISHED

11:18 23rd October 2012

Ståle Solbakken believes Wolves are facing the npower Championship’s strongest squad when Bolton come to Molineux tonight.

The Molineux boss detected a change of style from the reports and film he has seen of the division’s other Wanderers when they came back superbly from two down to beat Bristol City at The Reebok Stadium on Saturday.
The win spelled a successful start to the caretaker reign of caretaker manager Jimmy Phillips, who heads the club’s academy, but Bolton have since been granted permission to speak to former Wolves striker Dougie Freedman – here recently with Crystal Palace – about the vacancy caused by Owen Coyle’s sacking earlier this month.
“They have played a long-ball game with Ngog and (Kevin) Davies but they won on Saturday by playing a passing game with creative midfielders, Spearing and (Mark) Davies, and Eagles behind one striker,” Ståle said.
“They changed it very much and played a very good second half. The passing game suited those players.
“I said five or six weeks ago that Bolton are the best team on paper.
"They have players like (Stuart) Holden back from injury, and had Andrews and Ngog on the bench. Sordell and Knight weren’t even on the bench. It’s a big, big squad.
“Bolton also have three loan players in the starting line-up, so they are really going for it. It smells a bit more like a Premier League fixture.”

Wolves skipper Karl Henry is available again this evening after suspension ruled him out at the weekend and Ståle insists he’s more than content with overall progress despite the setback at Huddersfield.
Disappointed though he was that the club slipped back slightly in the race at the top, he prefers to see the bigger picture.
“I’m not so concerned by the table,” he added. “What I am concerned about is making progress now and getting stability through performances.
“We can build on good performances to get confidence, so, when we have a bad game, we can get on the horse again straightaway. It’s very important to have that feeling in the players’ bodies or in their heads.
“In the Championship, there’s always another game coming quickly. I am happy with five wins out of seven. If we can keep that going for the rest of the season, I will be very happy.”

Ståle has also made the point that the ‘dirty’ side of the job has to be seen to as well in all games.
“It’s a very physical league but I don’t think that’s news for anyone,” he said. “Doing the dirty job for the first 20 minutes – and then the other things - should not be a problem.
“We did that very well after the last international break but maybe we thought we had reached another level and didn’t have to compete so much. It was a reminder to make sure we do the dirty work.”

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