Scott Golbourne hopes Wolves are ready to peak at just the right time as they head into the final third of the season well placed in the Sky Bet League One promotion race.
Wolves currently sit second in the table, but could drop to third if Leyton Orient beat Stevenage tonight, as they prepare for Saturday’s biggest game of the season so far away at top club Brentford (3pm).
The Bees are on a superb run with 16 wins and three draws from their last 19 league games, but Golbourne believes the five successive victories Wolves have chalked up are showing that they too are heading in the right direction.
“I have been saying all season that we hadn’t quite hit the level that we know we can in terms of performances,” says the left back.
“I think it has been coming for a while.
“At the start of the season we were winning games but weren’t particularly playing our best football – we knew there was more to come.
“Now, performance-wise, we are coming close to our best and – touch wood – it is the right part of the season when you want to ‘up’ your game and being at your maximum.
“We need to do that if we want to be pushing for promotion.
“I think we have another gear.
“There are bits and pieces in training and we see what some of the lads are capable of.
“I see some of the football we play in training, some of the goals we score and how ruthless we are.
“Even in small-sided games everybody wants to win and at times the quality of some of the keep-ball is incredible.
“So if we can bring that extra gear or two into games it would really help us in that push at the business end of the season.”
Golbourne provides his latest assist of the season in Saturday’s 2-0 win against Notts County, teeing up Michael Jacobs’ headed opener, but felt Wolves could have added more goals in the latter stages.
“That first goal was almost a goal off the training ground really,” he says.
“We work on combinations of play and getting the full-backs forward and trying to narrow up the pitch and slide someone in behind.
“I was really pleased it came off. I like to get forward so it was nice to chip in with an assist.
“We were really pleased with another good performance.
“In the second half we could maybe have played a little bit better because we gave the ball away a little bit sloppily at times.
“Maybe that was just down to a lack of concentration.
“We would have liked to have gone on and got a third goal but overall we’re really pleased.
“The one minor, critical thing at the moment is the fact we’ve been playing really well in the last few games and performing somewhere near our best.
“I believe we’ve probably got another gear but we’re getting somewhere near our best performance-wise.
“But if we can score a few more goals and really make the performances count at time that would be better, but a win is a win so we will take that and move on to Brentford.”
Golbourne’s desire to get forward, culminating in that assist for Jacobs, something echoed by skipper Samuel Ricketts on the opposite flank, is an indication that why Wolves are very much building solid foundations with their impressive defending, it is not at the expense of attacking intent.
He explains: “The gaffer has drilled it into us about defending first and working off a good solid base.
“As a back four we all know our jobs and we have all played a good amount of games and have got a good unit.
“We are really proud of that as a defence and including the goalkeeper as well.
“We will be trying our best to keep it going.
“When I came in the gaffer said he wants to start building a new philosophy to work from a solid base but he also wants his full backs to attack.
“He wants to build from the back and play good football and that allows the full backs to get forward.
“At times the full backs can be our biggest attacking outlets – that is the way we play and it suits me down to the ground.
“I have really been enjoying the system we have played.
“It is all about developing relationships all over the pitch, and in terms of the left hand side the relationship is key with whoever is playing in front of me.
“I like to maraud up the left hand side which means they need to come inside and it turns into a little battle for the flanks sometimes!
“Having that relationship defensively is important as well, especially if we are playing against a full back who likes to attack.”