Keeper's delight as Wolves progress
Carl Ikeme admits he couldn’t remember the last time Wolves had reached the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup.
But the popular keeper played a massive part in making it happen as he produced a string of top class saves in Saturday’s 2-0 win against Stoke at the Bet365 Stadium.
It isn’t a competition which Wolves have excelled in in recent years – far from it.
Not even a victory in the competition since beating Doncaster in a Third Round replay in 2011, after which they went out to Stoke at the following stage.
No matter, as Wolves produced an all-round classy performance on Saturday, with skipper-for-the-day Ikeme in top form as the last line of defence.
"It's always nice to keep a clean sheet and make some saves,” he says.
“We were under pressure at the end of the game but the lads were brilliant from start to finish.
"When you play a Premier League team, you don't think about it too much but you always raise your game a little bit more.
“We were confident going into the game, we've been playing well and we wanted to keep that run going.
“To get the win here is a massive result for us, but to be honest we've have been terrible in the FA Cup ever since I've been here.
“I was speaking to Pat Mountain after the game and we couldn't remember when we got the fourth round before.
"I think it must be quite a long time, but hopefully we can get another Premier League tie in the next round."
Having played behind an impressive defensive display from Danny Batth and Richard Stearman in the goalless draw at Sheffield Wednesday, Ikeme was also full of praise for the returning Kortney Hause and Mike Williamson, the latter for his first appearance in 14 months after suffering a troublesome tendon injury.
“We made some great blocks with Kortney and Mike who's been out for over a year.
“It was so difficult coming back for his first game, his first 90 minutes - he didn't even have a shirt number at the start of the season but he's been a top professional.
"He's had some tough times and it's great to see him.
"Mike is so professional, his diet is immaculate, everything he does, his gym work, he's worked really hard.
“I speak to Mike quite a bit and I'm delighted for him as a friend, you couldn't have a better professional, he does everything right, it's good to see him back."
"It's a credit to him to come back like he did.
“He's worked so hard for a long time and we are all delighted for him and a lot of the other lads as well you haven't played for a long time.
“It was brilliant to see all of them doing well and getting this result."
Now though it is all about continuing the recent form and momentum into the big derby with Aston Villa at Molineux on Saturday (5.30pm).
"The gaffer was delighted with the whole team’s performance, but we have got league games that are important now so hopefully we can carry this on to next week"
"It's been a bit difficult, the change of manager, new players, but gaffer has been been brilliant and hopefully we can now start turning this around and pushing at the table.
"The gaffer has got the whole team moving in the right direction and we really believe we can do something.
“It will be difficult this season maybe, but hopefully if he keeps it the way we are going we could keep improving.”
The gaffer has got the whole team moving in the right direction and we really believe we can do something