Kenny Jackett today challenged his team to get Molineux rocking again tomorrow with a repeat of the high intensity football produced against Leyton Orient – but this time with the finishing touch.
Whilst tomorrow’s crowd against Preston won’t be in the realms of the 28, 598 who saw Wolves tackle Orient in the final home game of 2013, the presence of over 3,500 travelling supporters should make for a Lilywhite-hot atmosphere as third tackles fourth.
And Jackett insists it is up to Wolves to once again relish the expectation and atmosphere, but do better in terms of converting the opportunities created.
“In terms of the atmosphere against Leyton Orient, it was fantastic,” says the Head Coach.
“At the time it was the top two in the division and a holiday period but it did show me and everyone else what it can be like.
“It was the best atmosphere since I have been here and would be something I would love to replicate.
“But we only do that by being successful on the field.
“If we had perhaps been halfway down the division then we wouldn’t have had that opportunity for that atmosphere on that day.
“It is only results that can do that.
“If you are asking who should lead with the responsibility for that and whether it’s us or the crowd? I would say it is always us, and then the crowd will respond.
“We ask the crowd to play a part and we need them to be positive but we have to lead the supporters – that’s the way it is and you can’t ask for it the other way.
“Crowds generally come to games to be positive, to see good football and to see you winning.
“They will get behind you if they are encouraged and that responsibility is with ourselves.
“The good thing about being at Wolves is that we know that if we do perform and play well and win consistently that level of backing is there.
“We have talked about that game being the type of potential we have here if we get it right.”
That message – make the most of any possession – is certainly one which Jackett has been passing on after a Christmas period in which the points gleaned didn’t match the performances.
“I thought we played very well in the Leyton Orient game – but again we didn’t put them away,” he added.
“It’s nice to get the encouragement of people saying you are playing well but the big part of the game is converting good possession stats into goals and putting teams away – that is the business end of it.
“While we are thankful for the encouragement we have had periods of games when we have been on top.
“Tranmere wasn’t a lot different and neither was Gillingham in terms of the football we played which was probably better than perhaps any stage this season.
“But it is still not enough because you need to convert that into wins.
“Wins is the bottom line.
“So while we can look a little deeper and say that if we do keep playing like that – and can find ‘x, y or z’ you will be o-k – that is an accurate and honest assessment.
“But we still must realise that performances need to transpire into results.
“We need to be more ruthless when we are in control of the game and while getting control against Preston is going to be difficult we did it against Orient who are a very good side as well.
“First of all it’s about getting control of the game and then you have to make that pay, and we have to get back that winning mentality.”
Preston arrive at Molineux – as many have already this season – in decent nick having lost only three in the league all season and one in 16 in all competitions.
And Jackett expects another stern test in the manner of the 0-0 draw the two founder members of the Football League played out on the opening day of the 125th anniversary season back in August.
“We seem to be having runs of games against the top teams and this is one we are looking forward to,” he added.
“We drew 0-0 at Deepdale on the opening day and we have both gone on to suggest we could be in contention for one of the three promotion places.
“Preston are a very solid team and very well organised with experience all over the pitch – they will be relishing coming to Molineux.”