Mason says Wolves ready for Blues test
Joe Mason says Wolves have a positive mood to take into the first big derby of the season as they face Birmingham City at St Andrew’s tomorrow (3pm).
It has been a hectic spell at Wolves in the three weeks since Head Coach Walter Zenga took charge, but also a promising one, with the team unbeaten in their first four games.
The trip to face Blues will be another typically testing Sky Bet Championship encounter, but it is one which Mason says Wolves are looking forward to.
“A derby game is very exciting and I can’t wait,” says the striker.
“It is one of those games you look out for when the fixtures come out.
“It is going to be an enjoyable one for the fans.
“You can always hear things that are going on with the atmosphere especially with the home fans because they are probably not being particularly nice!
“I have played quite a few games now and you do get used to it and take it on the chin.
“It is one of those when you know it is a local derby how important it is for the fans to get bragging rights.
“Cardiff/Swansea derbies were always very tense and where I’m from – Plymouth/Exeter was the same as well.
“Any derby is a big game to the people involved.
“This will be my first derby at St Andrew’s and it is one I am looking forward to.
“You can only really fully enjoy it if you win, because it’s not a nice journey home if you don’t.
“We want to keep our unbeaten run going as long as possible but we are going into games trying to win.”
Mason says the players have expected the tough schedule since Zenga arrived as they knew the new Head Coach had such little time to get his ideas across.
Their first day off came on Wednesday, but the striker said the response from the players has been positive.
“It has been quite tough but with a new gaffer he wants to get this methods across and he only had a week before the season started,” he says.
“We can see why we didn’t have days off because we didn’t have much time at all to try and get to play the way he wants us to.
“It is fine – it is to be expected.
“All managers are different in their ways and this hasn’t shocked us.
“It has been a case of getting on with it and so far we have reacted well.
“Training has been enjoyable and we have concentrated really hard.
“It is a good balance that the gaffer has brought in with the training.
“And it has been very competitive in training as well.”
Mason continued: “Reading was a really positive result for us and Ipswich is always a tough game and they make it difficult for you and didn’t give much away.
“It has been a positive start to the season – it could have been better – but we are still unbeaten so can’t have too many complaints.
“It is a tough league – all managers have a different way of playing and it is all about how we counter that.”
Mason has already notched twice so far this season, and could have had several more.
He has been invigorated by the new season, and feels full of confidence.
“I am definitely more settled now,” says the frontman, who arrived from Cardiff in January.
“I am not going to lie – it took me a while to settle having been at Cardiff for so long.
“But I feel I am part of the group and that I do belong here.
“I feel the way we are playing now, I am confident going into games that I am going to have chances to score.
“And then it is up to me to take them.
“I am looking to get a good return of goals this year.
“The mental side of football is huge with confidence and things like that.
“The gaffer has got us in a positive frame of mind going into games.”
*Reminder that tomorrow's game is SOLD OUT for Wolves fans. Please do not travel without a ticket. Alcohol will be on sale to away fans inside the stadium up until kick off, but not at half time.
Training has been enjoyable and we have concentrated really hard