Head Coach hopes Wolves can continue momentum
Carry on being exciting – those are the instructions from Head Coach Paul Lambert as Wolves head into local derby action against Aston Villa this evening (5.30pm).
Wolves have been playing with a new-found freedom in recent weeks, culminating in last weekend’s Emirates FA Cup win at Stoke City, and Lambert is looking for his team to continue that in the derby atmosphere tonight.
“The way we are playing is exciting, with exciting players going forward, and I would rather have that than not have it,” he says.
“If they play with that freedom, we might not win every game, but we will be exciting.
“We did a really good job at Stoke but once that is done, you have to move on to the next one.
“The way we are playing at the minute we are certainly moving in the right direction.
“If we can keep this momentum going we can be a really good side.
“And the general feeling around the club is huge.
“We are playing with a lot of confidence, energy and enthusiasm for the game.”
Aston Villa is one of the clubs previously managed by Lambert.
But he says that doesn’t add any additional motivation to this evening’s game, which is more about Wolves trying to take the points.
“I’ve had two clubs since Aston Villa – it is just another game for me,” he says.
“I’m older! And I’m looking forward to the game, just like every game we play, whether it’s Aston Villa, Norwich, or anyone else.
“It is about Wolves, and how we perform.
“This is my club now, and this is the only interest that I have.
“These players, these guys, this team, that is it for me.
“I can only comment on the last couple of months here and it has been really pleasing and really enjoyable and really exciting.
“You learn at every club and I am not good enough to sit here and think I know everything.
“If I make a mistake here or there – no problem.
“As long as the players are ok and the supporters are ok, then I have no issues.”
Lambert has played, and managed, in many lively derby games down the years.
He is anticipating another lively atmosphere from his first experience of Wolves against Aston Villa.
“The game is about players and supporters – always is, always will be,” he says.
“If you can get both of those going in the right direction you have got a chance.
“When you are at a club with big support it has all got to bounce off each other.
“We need them – and if you can bring the players and fans closer it really helps you.
“I think the fans are loving the ride of it at the moment and it is important we keep that.
“There is a strong bond between the players and the fans at the moment.
“I’ve been involved in some great derbies, some big ones.
“As I’ve got a bit older, for me it has become more about playing the game and not the occasion which I think is important.
“If you keep level headed and know what you want, you tend to have a better chance rather than play the emotion of the game,
“If we can keep our heads and keep the way we are playing and focus on the game then everything else will take care of itself.
“We want to try and impose ourselves against a really good team which has just come down from the Premier League.
“It has got the makings of a good game.”
Team-wise Lambert looks set to select from the same squad available to him at Stoke, with Connor Ronan still facing a fight to be available due to his ankle injury.
The way we are playing at the minute we are certainly moving in the right direction