Skipper Samuel Ricketts today called on Wolves’ squad and supporters to transfer the togetherness at Preston to home soil at Molineux – believing it’s up to the players to give fans something to shout about against Gillingham tomorrow.
A travelling following of almost 5,000 last weekend, comfortably overhauling the highest in Sky Bet League One last season, provided the young Wolves team with some immense and noisy support as they kicked off the season with a hard-earned point at Deepdale.
After Capital One Cup defeat to Morecambe in midweek, it is time for Ricketts to lead the team out competitively for the first time at Molineux, targeting the victory which would make it a decent league start to the season.
“The support was phenomenal at Preston,” Ricketts told Wolves Player.
“I’m not sure I’ve been to a game, especially on the opening day, and seen almost 5,000 travelling fans.
“It was inspiring not just to me but the whole team, and it’s what we are going to need this season to be successful.
“That does also coincide with us giving the fans something they want to come and watch and also something they can be proud of.
“Home form is going to be very important if we are going to achieve what we are striving for this season.
“We need to make it as intimidating as we can for the opposition and make it a fortress.
“It works two ways – the louder and more supportive the fans are the better for us.
“But we also well aware we need to give the fans something exciting and some football to shout about to get them off their seats and make them proud of their team.”
Ricketts missed out at Morecambe due to illness but is keen to pick up from where he left off against former team-mate Kevin Davies and Preston, once more expecting a lively and physical game against Gillingham.
“I’m feeling a lot better now,” he confirmed.
“The Morecambe game probably just came 24 hours too early to be able to make a full recovery.
“But I’m back in training again yesterday and the illnesses and injuries seem to be clearing up which is good.
“We know we can play a lot better than we did at Preston but in a way it was reassuring to know how comfortable we were coming away with a draw.
“We know that we can improve 20 per cent from that performance and we are now looking forward to Gillingham and wanting to get off to a good start at home.
“It was a physical game at Preston and we know the physical challenge that can be provided by the likes of Kevin Davies, an old fashioned centre forward with many strengths.
“It’s the same with Akinfenwa at Gillingham who I also know all about – we have to respect their strengths and adapt to playing against them. As a defender you have to try and outthink them as well.”
With Wolves aiming for more signings to add to the arrival of Ricketts this summer, he believes there is the chance for further progress on top of that already carried out under new Head Coach Kenny Jackett.
“We are growing all the time,” says the captain.
“From when I first signed at the start of pre-season to the first game of the season we have come a long way as a team and a club.
“There is still plenty to improve on but it is still really pleasing to see how far we have come in that time and that things are looking really pleasing.”
*Samuel is penning a regular column in this season’s Matchday Magazine entitled Captain’s Corner. Pick up a copy of the programme from around Molineux tomorrow, priced at £3.