Sylvain Deslandes reveals how Carabao Cup football has provided the defender with a fantastic opportunity to showcase his abilities to the Wolves Coaching staff.
The France U20 international made his first appearance of the season in the 2-0 win over Southampton in Round Two of the competition last month and make his league return on Saturday afternoon after being introduced at Nottingham Forest.
And Deslandes explained that he’s been working hard to make a return to first team action with Wolves. He said: “I’m very pleased and very happy, it’s been a long time. I’ve been working really hard over the last two seasons to get back to the first team.
“Since I’ve been here, we’ve never done better than we are doing now. I just want us to go as far as we can.
“It’s very good and very exciting because, for me, it’s given me some game time to learn about first team football and show the gaffer that I can play in the league.
“I’ve had to work hard to get to this point. When I arrived at the club I was younger and I had to learn about English football, about the club and my teammates.
“I had to get stronger and be fully ready for the first team so I am very happy to be back.
“In football it has to take time, I just had to be patient and keep working in training and getting better each day.
“I’m a patient guy and I’m a hard worker as well. I knew that, with hard work, I was going to get where I needed to be.
“I just had to be patient and wait for my chance to come. “I feel like I’m fully ready. And I feel like I’m a lot stronger this season than when I played before. I feel a lot more confident as well.”
A lot has changed for Deslandes on and off the pitch in recent months. As well as becoming a husband, he has also become a father.
Content with life away from football, Deslandes believes that helps him to perform better on the pitch.
“I’m still the same guy but a lot of things have changed in my life,” said the defender before adding: “I’m a dad now, I’m married and I feel more of a man than before.
“That’s probably what’s changed. If life is good off the pitch then I’m 100% sure that it’s going to be good on the pitch.
“If life is bad, then you’re going to be bad on the pitch most of the time.
“The club is also different. What the club now expects is bigger than before.
“It’s very good and very exciting for me, as a young player, to be a part of this big club.
“I feel very lucky to be a part of this big club.”
The youngster is competing for a place in the first team amongst a talented crop of players but it’s a challenge that doesn’t faze Deslandes.
“Every day in training with all the players, I want to get better to be the best because the standard is so high,” he explained.
“Without competition you cannot get better. You need competition to work hard, to develop yourself, to get better and to give your best every day.
“I think it’s helped me a lot to have good players in my position at left wing-back and at left centre-half as well.
“It’s good for me as a young player. Especially when there are good players in my position.
“I think it’s going to be a long season and every single player in the squad has to be ready to play and be sharp when the chance comes.
“Even when you’re not playing, you have to show that you want to.
“It’s all about working hard in training and making sure that, when the chance comes, you’re ready for it.
“At Southampton I played a left centre-half and on Saturday I played at left wing-back.
“I can play both. I will just play wherever the gaffer wants me to play. I just want to play, that’s all I want. Whether that’s left wing-back or left centre-half, that’s no problem for me. I’m happy with both.”