Ebanks-Landell looking forward to returning
Ethan Ebanks-Landell has declared himself ready to return for pre-season and is confident that the return to fitness of several players can give Wolves a boost.
The 23-year-old Academy graduate missed the final two months of last season with a broken metatarsal sustained in the away fixture at Middlesbrough.
After surgery, and then some additional treatment and fitness work during the close season, the powerful centre back is now looking forward to joining up with the squad in a fortnight and staking a claim for next season.
“I was back in to the training ground for about two to three weeks after the season finished and started back running and made good progress,” says Ebanks-Landell.
“I was back in at the start of this week just to make sure everything is ok and make sure the healing process has gone well.
“There is still a little bit of pain but I can get through that and will be fine.
“I should definitely be fine for the start of pre-season – that is the plan and I will be raring to go.
“Obviously it is never ideal for a player to come in during the summer but I hadn’t played towards the end of the season and I wanted to get myself right.
“As footballers you want to play – it is what you are paid to do and what you love doing – and it is a small sacrifice to come in and do the work to make sure I am fit for pre-season.”
Ebanks-Landell enjoyed his most successful Wolves season to date last time out, making 25 appearances in his more favoured centre back position.
There were times when competition in that position was fierce, and that is likely to be the case again next season.
“I thought I had done o-k and thought I could keep my place in the team if I could continue to play well,” he recalls.
“Unfortunately the injury came and ruled me out.
“I started off in the team and was then dropped when maybe I wasn’t playing well.
“I then got back in the team after a couple of injuries and felt I was doing well alongside Danny.
“Results were mixed but I thought we were building a solid base of a partnership.
“Then it was frustrating to get injured against Middlesbrough.
“I had managed to keep my place in the team up until then and competition for places is always there and is always important.
“You know with competition that if you are not playing well you are going to get dropped.
“When I was back in the team I wasn’t looking at it like I was keeping anyone else out – I was just concentrating on playing at my best to try and stay in.
“I was just focusing on what I was doing and thinking that I can play well and do a job then the gaffer will keep me in.”
Ebanks-Landell looks set to be joined by Nouha Dicko and possibly Mike Williamson in returning to full training for the start of pre-season, handing Wolves a triple boost.
And the defender believes Dicko in particular could provide a vital threat, his absence for almost all of last season co-inciding with the team suffering a drop in their goal threat.
“We had a lot of injuries last season and a lot of long term injuries,” he says.
“Losing Dicko was a massive loss for us, Benik was then sold in January and we had already lost Sako before all that.
“Jordan Graham came in and made a massive impact and we lost him, Zyro came in and scored some goals and we lost him, and while Eddo wasn’t out for as long he is one of our most experienced players who has a big influence.
“Losing all those players was tough and made things difficult.
“Hopefully if we can be back for pre-season we can help increase that competition.
“Dicko in particular would be great to get back.
“That is what we lacked last season – goals.
“And with his pace up front he can have an immediate impact.
“A player like Dicko even improves the rest of us in training.
“I enjoy playing against him in training and feel I get better from doing that as he is so sharp and one of the best strikers in the division.
“With Dicko and Joe Mason, and hopefully bringing in a player or two, we can have some threats up there next season.”
And Ebanks-Landell says the players will be returning in positive mood in a fortnight’s time.
“Even though it was a difficult season last time I think we were all still positive and no one got on each other’s back,” he explains.
“We are a close knit group and do meet up outside of here as well.
“That applies even when we are having bad results on the pitch and when that happened last season no one was hanging their heads – everyone was still coming in to training every day and giving their all.
“If you do get negative that’s when things can go horribly wrong but it’s not been the case here and everyone will be looking forward to getting back out there next season.”
Even though it was a difficult season last time I think we were all still positive and no one got on each other’s back