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Relish the task

Byrne looking forward to Boro challenge

Nathan Byrne says Wolves are full of confidence heading into tonight’s testing assignment at promotion-chasing Middlesbrough (7.45pm).

Tonight’s hosts have not conceded more than one goal at home in any Sky Bet Championship fixture so far this season, and have the additional motivation that even just a point would be enough to take them top of the table.

Add to that the fact that Boro have already beaten Wolves twice this season – 3-0 at the Riverside in the Capital One Cup, and 3-1 in the league at Molineux – and it’s easy to say why Wolves are the clear underdogs.

But winger Byrne, whose first home start for Wolves came in the reverse fixture  back in October,  believes any pressure is in the hosts and that confidence is high after last weekend’s victory against Derby.

He says:  “As we know already from how we played against them at home and where they are in the table, everybody knows they are a very solid team who don’t leak many goals especially at home.

“We know they are a very tough team to play against but there probably isn’t a better time for us having beaten Derby last weekend.

“All the boys are confident going into the game and looking forward to it.

"Inside the dressing room we always stay together.

“We know there have been a few unlucky performances on our behalf and a few unlucky ones with the results.

“We knew we hadn’t won in a long time before Derby and we knew we had to step up and not hide away.

“We showed that against Derby and hopefully can go on a run now and finish the season strongly.

“Most of the pressure will be on Middlesbrough tonight being where they are in the league.

“They know they have a good chance of going up and every point counts.

“They will be feeling tense and we have to go there and play our normal game, taking the good things from Derby and hopefully building on it.”

Byrne, who arrived at Wolves from Swindon last August, has made seven league starts in total so far and a further 13 appearances off the bench.

His path blocked by the form at various times of James Henry and Rajiv van La Parra, the 23-year-old is still enjoying life in his first season at this level and relishing the challenge of trying to win a regular place in the team.

“In my position there is a lot of strength and there has been six or seven lads who are really good wingers,” he adds.

“I knew coming here it wasn’t going to be easy and I wasn’t going to be just walking into the team and playing 50 games in the season.

“Obviously it is a learning curve for my first season in the Championship and I have really enjoyed it.

“As a winger your main target are assisting and scoring goals and that is what I base my game on.

“At League One that is pretty much all it was based on.

“Now in the Championship there is also more defensive work involved, tracking back, helping the team hold on to leads.

“I would like to be playing more like anyone would but I am happy I was in the team in the last game and we got the win.

“Hopefully I get picked again at Middlesbrough I can show more of what I have got.“