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We Can Cope

PUBLISHED

14:00 4th April 2013

O'Hara backing for depleted squad

Jamie O'Hara has this week backed his team-mates to bounce back from the horrendous run of injuries that has blighted their recent fantastic sequence of results.

Wolves have won four of their last five nPower Championship games, but in that time have also seen Carl Ikeme, David Edwards, Bakary Sako and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake pick up season-ending injuries.

O'Hara - no stranger to long lay-offs himself - believes that the squad has enough depth and quality to continue their push for survival, despite that blow of seeing top scorer Ebanks-Blake joining the casualty list against Birmingham City on Easter Monday.

"Sylvan's been in excellent form for us in the last few games and it will be a big blow for us losing him," O'Hara explains.

"But Bjorn (Sigurdarson) has been brilliant over the last few games and Kevin Doyle seems to be a different player since he's been given the captain's armband.

"Doyle has been playing fantastically well and we've got other players coming into good form too - David Davis has come in and done really well and so has Roger Johnson.
He adds: "All over the pitch there are people putting in good performances."

The trio of Ikeme, Edwards and Sako all picked up their injuries during the home win over relegation rivals Bristol City last month, with Sako's absence in particular expected to be a huge blow after the Frenchman's influential campaign.

However, his replacement Stephen Hunt has excelled in the games that have followed, and O'Hara believes that those in contention to replace Ebanks-Blake as the focal point of the Wolves attack can take inspiration from the form of the tenacious Irishman.

"Bakary Sako has been our best player this season but Stephen Hunt has come in and given us something different," O'Hara says.

"Having him in the team has changed the dynamic of the way we play. We're more up in the opposition's faces, biting and snapping into tackles - like he does - and he's got everyone else doing it with him.

"He's been a real plus for us."

O'Hara, who missed the entire first half of the season with injury, has started each of the last twelve games, seeing Wolves fortunes turn around dramatically in the last month.

However, the former Spurs midfielder says that the battle for survival is far from over, and that the depleted squad is now firmly focused on extending their current winning run away at Bolton on Saturday.

"We can't relax now," he urges. "We're saying 'imagine where we'd be if we hadn't won those games' and it's scary really.

"We've put a great run of form together but we need to carry on. We can't stop now, we've got big games coming up and they're all winnable.

"We're on form, we've got confidence and the way the team is set up seems to be working. Everyone knows what role they've got to do in the team and we've just got to keep doing the same things and getting the right results."

He continues: "We've won three on the bounce now and we're full of confidence and that's all it needed."

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