Gaffer on big game at Molineux
Wolves Head Coach Kenny Jackett believes that Saturday’s Molineux date with Derby County (12.30pm) could be just what the doctor ordered after their recent bad results.
Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat at Brentford was disappointing for staff, players and supporters alike, but Jackett feels that the atmosphere and size of Saturday’s televised fixture can play a big part in helping the team getting back to winning ways.
He said: “I think it will be a good atmosphere, the crowd will get behind us.
“Invariably they will react to what they see on the pitch, whether good, bad or indifferent - I understand that, and it’s up to us to take that and lift that crowd, we’re capable of doing that.
“We’ve lost three games on the trot and the manner of the defeat against Brentford – because Brentford were the better side and we didn’t deserve anything out of the game – was very disappointing.
“And so the bigger games in these circumstances are good ones.
“It’s a game to relish, Derby County, we have to look forward to that and work as hard as we can to try and put the run of three defeats behind us.
“We want to come through the bad period that we’ve had.”
Jackett acknowledges and understands the criticism that has been levelled at him in recent weeks, and insists he will be doing everything in his power to bring about a change in the team’s fortunes.
“I don’t want to project that you don’t take any notice or you can’t feel it because you do on a personal level,” he said.
“I understand that, it goes with the territory and comes as part of the position.
“You’re very aware, you don’t miss anything, it’s not something you can necessarily ignore but also your trying to then work out a way to turn things around, turn things positive, and the way is always out on the pitch.
“You have to work out very quickly what you are going to do about that, perhaps at that particular time making substitutions or changing formation are two things you can do, but mainly it’s about getting it right from the start.
“It’s preferable to be able to make the right decisions and try to work at it very positively from the start of the game so that things go well and go positively for everybody, for the side to be successful, to be entertaining, and to have a good combination of quality and heart.”
Saturday’s visitors experienced a similar run to the one that Wolves are currently enduring, before winning back to back games against Brentford and Blackburn Rovers.
Those results show just how competitive the Sky Bet Championship is and how quickly confidence can turn around thanks to positive results.
Jackett said: “Losing three games on the trot is not nice, obviously then you can see a lack of confidence. Confidence has to be earned, has to be built and we have an opportunity on Saturday in a big game.
“While you can look at Tuesday and see a lack of confidence there’s only one way to get that back and that’s to work very hard at doing that and you always get that chance that opportunity in the Championship from Tuesday to Saturday to be able to do that.
“The Derby game is a great game to play in, we have to look forward to it and we have to build and build the players confidence and we’ll only do that by working hard and making the right decisions.
“They’re at the top of a very competitive league and have been for a number of seasons, and have been unlucky in the past not to get up into the Premier League.
“You can quite easily see that they have aspirations to get up there themselves, for us it’s a big one against a good side and one that we’re looking forward to.”
The squad has been bolstered by the loan signing of Frenchman Jeremy Helan from Sheffield Wednesday until the end of the season.
Helan is a player that Jackett admitted has been in his sights for quite some time and also that he will go straight into the squad for Saturday’s fixture.
Jackett said: “He’s a player that’s been on our radar for a little while, and we know of him and he’s played against us for Sheffield Wednesday in recent years so we’re very pleased to have him and bring him to the club with what he can bring to the side.
“He comes in to a wide left or left back position, and we’ve had problems in those positions through injuries and he has good Championship experience and is ready to go.
“He’ll help the balance of our team as a natural left footer and will possess some pace down that side, which is something we’ve been looking for.
“He has experience in both positions, he is strong and has power, which are very good attributes for the league.
“I’m looking for him to come straight in and give us balance, pace and competitiveness.”
Meanwhile James Henry, Mike Williamson and Michal Zyro, will miss Saturday’s encounter with the Rams due to injury - however Jackett is refusing to rule out their availability for next Friday’s clash with Middlesbrough.
He said: “We’ll assess them next week, have they a chance for Middlesbrough? It’s a little bit early to tell but they’re all outside working and training and we’re seeing how much they need, whether they can come straight in or do they need an Under 21’s game.
“Out of our injuries they are the three who are closest to coming back - they certainly won’t be available for Derby but we remain optimistic for next week.”