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Raising Out Game

Batth says Wolves must maintain standards

Danny Batth says Saturday’s derby win against Aston Villa was played in one of the best atmospheres he has experienced during his career.

But the skipper says Wolves must quickly move on and switch concentration to continuing the recent upturn in form and results at Norwich on Saturday (3pm).

“I think you could see from the reactions at the end of the game that we realised what a big win it was,” says Batth.

“We felt hard done to that we hadn’t come away with three points from Villa Park and I am sure the fans enjoyed themselves on Saturday night.

“It was one of the best atmospheres I have experienced as a player – the stadium was rocking, everything went to plan and I really enjoyed it.

“To keep a clean sheet was the icing on the cake.

“I think the team spirit is coming to the front now.

“We have always felt confident about the characters and personalities in the dressing room.

“But we are maybe seeing a few players coming out of their shells a little bit more.

“That is credit to the gaffer, and Stu and Rob, who have been giving us that confidence on the training ground.

“When results don’t go your way and you are not quite getting over the line in games then it can be a real kick in the teeth.

“But then you get performances like the Villa one which was a great victory and one where I think we could have got more goals.”

Batth and defensive colleague Richard Stearman were called back into the side and repeated the clean sheet posted in their previous outing at Sheffield Wednesday in the last league game.

In between times, Mike Williamson and Kortney Hause had come into the side to impressive effect in the Emirates FA Cup victory at Stoke City.

Batth knows that the battle for a starting berth in the centre of defence has certainly gone up a notch.

“There is good competition now and it is very tight between the lads that are playing and even to the lads who were sitting in the stand on Saturday,” he added.

“That confidence and togetherness will hopefully bode well.

“None of us take anything for granted when it comes to our places.

“The gaffer is here to make those calls and take those decisions.

“There were lads not even on the bench on Saturday who could easily have started the game.

“If I hadn’t been involved I would have been supporting the boys as well and it is that togetherness – regardless of who is playing – that is going to be very important going forward.

“The gaffer has installed a lot of good basics in us and in the dressing room.

“The standards are high in training, the workrate is high in training, and you can see that in the games from the minute go now.

“We have got a good threat in Costa, Dicko and Cavaleiro and Mason and Jon Dadi as well who can hurt teams.

“It is great to have those options.”

Batth says those clean sheets have certainly been as well-received as they were well-earned.

And the players will be looking for more of the same, and keeping standards high, for the trip to Carrow Road.

“It is certainly something we have been working on,” the captain says of the shutouts.

“We have been tighter away from home and I said in the huddle before the Villa game that we needed to bring that to Molineux as well.

“A derby game was always going to be tight and being solid defensively would give us a chance.

“We felt that if we kept a clean sheet we would win the game and we were delighted to do that and send the fans home happy.

“We won’t be getting carried away though.

“We have won a game and we will enjoy that but then we dust ourselves down and get back in this week to prepare for another tough game at Norwich.

“The more we pick up results the more expectations go up and so we have to raise our game and put out foot to the floor again on Saturday and make sure we give them a real test.

“It is professional sport, and if we get beat, in the dressing room we are always keen to get back out there and improve in the next game.

“If we win a game, it doesn’t make a season – it is how you back it up and follow it on that counts.

“That is what we will be looking to do.”