Gaffer on his midfield options
Kenny Jackett believes Conor Coady has found a good balance to his game as he prepares for his first return to former club Huddersfield on Saturday (3pm).
Coady’s tenacious tackling and competitive nature came to the fore after he was sent off against Brighton earlier in the season, and it took him a while to then win his place back in the side.
But Jackett believes he is also now showing he can be good on the ball as well, following his assist for Joe Mason’s goal against Preston and similar pass which set up a good chance for James Henry at Reading the previous weekend.
“I’ve been pleased with Conor’s form,” said Jackett.
“His energy, his commitment, his heart, has been very good, and he has kept going.
“I thought he played well on Saturday.
“He’s a good attitude and is very whole-hearted, and the sending off earlier in the season perhaps rocked him a bit slightly because he was in very good form early on.
“He has found the balance now.
“I don’t want to take away his tackling and his competitive nature.
“Picking up second balls and putting in the type of running stats that midfield players need is something he is definitely capable of.
“But when he gets an assist like he did on Saturday, it rounds his game off very well.”
Jack Price was recalled to the midfield at the expense of Kevin McDonald for Saturday’s game against Preston, with Jackett always confident in the knowledge that the Shrewsbury-born Academy graduate will not let him down.
“I felt Jack Price just edged McDonald – there was no other reason than that,” said the Head Coach.
“For that three-man midfield my selection was that I wanted to play Price, and have a look at him in that particular role.
“I think he did fine, and the big thing about Jack Price is that he is a very consistent player and a very consistent person – he’ll never let you down.
“Kevin has had a different role of late in a three man midfield, for which if he can get free he can be very effective with his passing.
“And he has done that in recent months in an area where we have quite a number of options.
“For him to come back, away from the ball, and get on it and be effective with his passing, that’s his game and it’s a good one that has served him well over the period of time – almost three years – that he has been here.”
Jackett meanwhile is not planning to recall Jed Wallace from his loan spell at Millwall, preferring to leave the midfielder to continue his progress with regular football.
“It’s been a good spell for Jed and we want him to continue progressing,” he said.
“We have van La Parra and Byrne so the wide right position has been o-k.
“In terms of wide left it is more of a problem for us, but we are not looking to recall Jed.”
In contrast to recently leaking goals at home, Wolves have been more solid on the road, conceding only once in the last four away league games.
Jackett knows more of that will be required at the John Smith’s Stadium.
“The results at home have been frustrating, and the last two performances as well against Preston and Bolton,” he said.
“Nine goals conceded in four games doesn’t give you much of a chance of earning any points.
“It’s been slightly different away from home – we’ve been slightly more diligent and a bit tighter.
“We certainly hope that continues up at Huddersfield and then on Tuesday against Brentford.
“If we’re looking at our home games the goals against column has been too high and the nature of the goals hasn’t been great.
“You could put down the Cardiff goals as very good goals, but generally we have been disappointed with what we’ve done and we want to reduce that.
“Gelling as a side, making sure we put on entertaining, winning performances and moving up from 12th in the league is what we want.”
When Conor gets an assist like he did on Saturday, it rounds his game off very well