Lambert says players will have to earn a shirt
Wolves may now have secured their Sky Bet Championship status – but Paul Lambert says he will not be handing out any ‘gifts’ of first team action unless players prove they deserve it.
Lambert’s former club Blackburn are the visitors to Molineux today (3pm), the first of the final four games from which the Head Coach wants to finish the season as strongly as possible to take into the summer.
Experimenting? Not likely, as Lambert wants to be fair both to his players and to the credibility of the league.
“We are playing a team in Blackburn who are fighting for their lives, but we will do everything we can to win,” says Lambert.
“At the moment we must focus on the next four games.
“We can’t go up and we can’t go down, but we have to be fair to everybody, and we want to finish as strongly as possible.
“We are in front of our home fans, who have been great, and will be back in their thousands to watch us.
“We need to keep doing what we have been doing for much of the last nine games, and try and get the win.
"We will go as strong as we can.
"When it comes to first-team level, it won't be a gift for anyone to play.
"Sentimental reasons, I get all that, but we've still got a job to do.
"I've got lads who are in form, and I also know what the young players can do.
“(Connor) Ronan, (Bright) Enobakhare, Harry (Burgoyne), Donovan (Wilson) has had a taste, so has Morgan (Gibbs-White) - Christian Herc has been doing well.
"There are one or two that are a wee bit away from it but they've shown me what they can do, they've been brilliant.
"Scott (Sellars) has done great with the kids. But the ones that are ahead of them are probably a bit ahead.
"And I won't do it as a gift. You've got to earn the right to get in.”
Finishing strongly is the aim, but also with half an eye on next season.
Lambert believes Wolves need some stability to improve from the current position, and has revealed any decisions on players’ futures will be kept until the season is over.
“Pre-season will be vital as to how we want to play and have a base,” he explained.
“There has got to be stability and players to come in to help what is here.
“The new owners will be into their second season with a year under their belt and everyone will be wiser than before – we will learn from everything.
“There will be decisions to be made on players and, once it is all done and dusted, everyone will know what is going to happen.
“I’ve got a rough idea what the players can do and can’t do, their strengths and weaknesses, and what their characters are like.
“Everyone has to be hungry enough to get out of the league rather than being content to play Championship football.
“Ability-wise, I don’t think there is anyone who needs to prove anything, but those decisions will come at the end of the season.”